H. Gillespie : Griot Volunteer Profile

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Mr. Gillespie is an art teacher at W.A. Higgins Middle School who tutors and leads group reading here at the Griot Youth Program on Wednesdays and Thursday.  He is a native of Holly Springs originally, but now lives in Clarksdale, both of which are in the state of Mississippi.

He first started visiting the Griot Youth Program after hearing about us from colleagues, and came to investigate.  What he found was that even though he works with students all day, being with the youth in the Griot environment was a relaxing change in pace.  Mr. Gillespie, being inspired by this says that he now “tries to adopt the culture from here to school”.  This attitude is consistent with the philosophy of Griot where students are constantly encouraged to create positive culture instead of just absorbing the negative culture around them.

Among the things Mr. Gillespie likes about this program is how it tries to develop the whole person, addressing the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and the real world situation of the students, while providing them with a space where they can be themselves.

Mr. Gillespie says that when he’s older, he hopes to be able to bring a program like Griot back to Holly Springs, where he will also continue to develop and enjoy his passion for fishing, photography, and riding Harley Motorcycles.  Until then, Mr. Gillespie continues to be an invaluable member of the many volunteers at Griot just by his consistent presence. If you see him out and about in Clarksdale, give him a high five for all the good he creates here!



~ By Byron Bays : Student Intern at the Griot Youth Program

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