Impact is a word frequently heard in connection with M.O.R.E., a mentorship organization for young black men in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS).
The three young men receiving the A. Chris Nelms - 2019 M.O.R.E. Man of the Year awards — Kevin Pearson, Steven King III and Sol Diawara — have strongly impacted their schools and communities in positive ways.
M.O.R.E., which stands for Men Organized, Respectful and Educated, strives to change the lives of young men and how they are viewed.
The award is named for A. Chris Nelms, a CPS graduate and a Cincinnati Board of Education member from 2008 until his death in 2017. Nelms, who spent 25 years as a CPS teacher, coach and athletic director, was a driving force behind the M.O.R.E. program and its reach to more than 600 young men in grades 4-12 within Cincinnati Public Schools.
The 2019 recipients embody everything that Chris Nelms wanted to see in the young men who wear the M.O.R.E. white dress shirts and orange-and-blue striped ties, said William Johnson, CPS’ M.O.R.E. coordinator.
This award, now in its second year, is earned by an elementary school student, a junior high student, and a high school student. The 2019 awards were presented May 15.
To earn the M.O.R.E. Man of the Year Award, a student must have:
- A and B Honor Roll ranking in all four quarters of current school year
- No suspensions in all four quarters
- A teacher’s recommendation
- Participation in a community service project
- Additional awards or recommendations are considered.
The 2019 recipients:
Kevin Pearson – 6th grader – Silverton Paideia Academy
Kevin is a considerate, hardworking, dedicated gentleman who is a model student, and more importantly, a model human being, who acts as an essential student leader in the Silverton Paideia Academy community.
As a student, Kevin exemplifies scholarship. He earns nearly all As in his classes, studies and works outside of school consistently, and participates and collaborates daily in class. He can be relied upon to put his schoolwork first, and his commitment to academics shows in his admittance to Walnut Hills High School for the 2019-20 school year.
He earned Honor Roll status every quarter, as well as receiving no discipline referrals in his seven years at Silverton. Kevin treats all students and adults with respect and kindness, and he is friends with a wide range of students.
In addition to be a M.O.R.E. leader, Kevin is a key leader on Silveton’s Leader in Me Student Lighthouse, presenting at full school assemblies and planning school events. He also is a member of Silverton’s Dance Ensemble and Show Choir, 3D Printing Club, Chess Club and Agriculture Club. In 2018-19, Kevin was selected as the Silverton Village Student of the Month and also was selected to represent Silverton at a schoolwide assembly kicking off the school’s Vision 2020 Digital Leadership Academy.
Kevin is a renaissance man who has been a true asset to Silverton Paideia Academy.
Steven King III – 8th grader – Hartwell School
Steven is a first year M.O.R.E. student but he has embodied and represents the. program like someone who has been a part of it for much longer. His character and grades have led the Hartwell M.O.R.E. club to a great first year a part of the M.O.R.E. family.
Steven has received an abundance of praise from his peers, M.O.R.E. advisor, teachers and principal. Steven has had no discipline infractions, and he is a great friend to many. Teachers regularly heap praise upon Steven, and he has responded by being an A Honor Roll student for three consecutive quarters. Steven will continue his education at Shroder High School.
Steven is an ideal M.O.R.E. man and will continue to be a foundation for M.O.R.E. and a leader within Cincinnati Public Schools.
Sol Diawara – 12th grader – Hughes STEM High School
Sol is a graduating senior with a 3.8 weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) and is ranked as number eight within his graduating class. Sol is a very bright and hardworking young man with an amazing success story.
In addition to being a young scholar, Sol is highly involved with several programs and initiatives throughout Cincinnati, including Cincinnati State College Credit Plus; Cincinnati State Leadership Club; WordPlay: Human w(R)ites and Scribes Programs; DAAP Camps, University of Cincinnati; Define Yourself: Your Productions; BDPA: Black Data Processing Associates Coding Camp; Young but Not Silent; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park: Theatre Camp; Who "They" Is: Space to Pla(y)ce; and RiverTrek.
Sol also is a proud member of Hughes’ Environmental Club where he participates in community clean-ups and water-testing events, while promoting environmental awareness.
Sol is an ideal student who would make any educator proud. Sol will attend The Ohio State University for his collegiate career.