Sport Administration Junior Shares Bond With Mentor

Mentors can make a tremendous impact in the lives of their mentees. Just ask Jamir Kennedy.

A Kent State University junior majoring in sport administration, Kennedy was recently featured on WKYC-TV in Cleveland for his participation in a mentorship program.

Kennedy’s mentorship began on a basketball court when his mentor invited him to play. He told WKYC-TV that he felt more comfortable because he loves basketball.

Kennedy had been reluctant to join the mentor program but changed his mind when his dad told him his younger family members were looking up to him.

“I have to be mindful of that,” Kennedy told WKYC-TV. “When he told me they were watching, I just wanted to be a good example.”

Kennedy’s mentor, Deven Smith, a Kent State alumnus, has been able to bond with him through basketball and how they both attended John Hay School of Science and Medicine.

“I know how hard it was coming from John Hay,” Smith told WKYC-TV. “There’s not much that you know about college, especially if you’re first generation. We’re both from Cleveland, innercity, and coming to Kent, it’s really quiet. It’s very different. So you’re coming out here alone, and you don’t know what to look forward to.”

According to the station, Kennedy said Smith has provided a blueprint of sorts for him these last three years. Smith has shown Kennedy the value of having someone comfortable and consistent in his life, and Smith has given him a lasting life lesson. 

“Don’t be afraid to open up,” Kennedy said. “Everybody’s got a little box and says they want to stay to it. That’s what I wanted to do, but having this mentorship/mentee thing with him has opened me up a lot.”

Watch the full WKYC-TV story.

Image caption: Deven Smith and mentee Jamir Kennedy screenshot from WKYC-TV’s “Mentor Mondays.”

POSTED: Tuesday, March 14, 2023 10:39 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2023 11:56 AM
Jordan Bryski, Flash Communications