Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of the five AAPS high school seniors who were recently named “Young Men of Promise” by the Delta Psi Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
The students were recognized during the chapter’s annual Celebration of Black Men Brunch which honors local African American men who have given back to the community through service in the arts, business/economics, community service, education, health and as a trailblazer.
The goal of the Celebration of Black Men is to applaud these unsung heroes who have made a significant and/or unique contribution to our black community, explained Delta Psi Omega member Patricia Manley, an AAPS School Board trustee, who oversees the Young Men of Promise program.
The full list of honorees includes:
- Community High School – Quincy David Jenkins
- Huron High School – Abdul Kizito
- Pathways to Success Academic Campus – LeMarcus (Marty) Roper
- Pioneer High School – Gabriel C. Nwogu
- Skyline High School – Ryan Anthony Wade
- Lincoln Consolidated High School – William McDonald
- Ypsilanti Community High School – Emerson Williams
Gabe Nwogu is a big believer in doing what he can to improve the lives of others.
He’s a member of the Pioneer High School Student Council, the Foreign Exchange Club, Pioneer Alumni Connections, and his church’s vacation Bible school coordinating team.
Gabe attended the American Legion’s Boys State program, where he became a member of a simulated House of Representatives who created a mini-state where participants ran for various positions, filled the roles, and helped manage the city. In the embed role in the makeshift city, Gabe assisted in creating the purpose for improving that city’s financial troubles. Gabe assisted in the betterment of the city, by creating bills that directly benefited his city while also improving the state of Boys State as a whole, said Pioneer’s Senior Class Principal Kevin Hudson. That experience inspired Gabe to become a member of the Junior State of America (JSA). As a recent member of the JSA club at Pioneer, he and others discuss questions relating to the ever-changing political climate.
Gabe has a 4.0 GPA. His interests include returning to his place of origin, Nigeria, to help others.
Family: Ignatius Nwogu, father; Sandra Nwogu, sister/guardian; Alex Nwogu, brother; and Chinyere Nwogu, deceased mother.
Favorite hangouts: I typically enjoy hanging out with a couple of friends at different locations and playing basketball, games and watching basketball or the occasional football with them.
Favorite artist: J Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
Which elementary, middle, and high school teachers have made the biggest difference in your life? As a person who has moved from place to place through my middle and high school years, it is hard to answer this question because I, for the most part, have not been able to foster the kind of relationship that would make a specific teacher have a significant effect on my life. The only teacher who I would have to say significantly changed my outlook on life would have to be my former US history and Law teacher and my current Philosophy teacher, Mr. Brent Richards. Through my experience in high school, he—along with a cohort of peers—has truly enlarged my outlook on different situations and allowed me to experience what I come to think of now as the true high school experience.
If you had a 10-year-old brother, what advice would you give him? I would tell him to make sure he enjoys life because we often overstress about working hard and doing the best we can that we forget that time waits for no one.
What were you doing in your last selfie? I don’t often take selfies, but in my last selfie I was hanging out with my sister at an event.
Do you think teens today have it tougher than their parents did? I personally think that in many cases teens have it tougher now than their parents did. Our current society is built around the premise that one should strive to be in a better position than their parents. Our grandparents worked hard to get where they were, Our parents worked even harder to surpass our grandparents and so we are expected to do the same. This constant pressure, though our parents might not be privy to it, forces many teenagers to strive for an almost ridiculous goal and strain themselves by taking harder and harder classes all for the purpose of overcoming the high expectations set for them by their predecessors.
What do you plan to do after high school? I plan to go to a college that will provide me with a well-rounded education, so I can actualize my future goals in a specific field.
Finish this sentence: “I wish people over 40 would understand that …” society is not how it was at their time, but has in fact evolved to what we gen z recognize it as today.
And this one: “If I won the lottery, I would …” attempt to invest in other ventures in order to build that wealth so I could, in turn, create a lifestyle for myself as opposed to a one-and-done situation. I would also give a significant amount of that money to my father because how much he, as a widower, has bent over backward in order to give my siblings and I the lifestyle we have come to expect today. I would then strive to invest a portion of that money into my birth country, Nigeria. Anyone who has come from Nigeria can attest to the fact that it is lacking in some aspects, specifically the educational system in some areas and the medical profession in general. Because of this fact, I would attempt to better these specific fields for I, as a person who came from a different country at an age where I could recognize my adversity, know firsthand the effects these have on your potential, your livelihood and your family.
What do you think you’ll miss most about Pioneer? I will miss all the friendships and relationships I was able to cultivate in Pioneer.