A’Marion Ivy came to Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School as a junior transfer from another area high school. His mom was looking for a school that would better meet the demands of preparing young men to be ready for life, work, and leadership beyond high school. When she learned of Kingdom Prep’s distinctives on brotherhood, accountability and helping young men discover their purpose she chose Kingdom Prep for her son. A’Marion recalls his initial reluctance to switch schools and even admits he was a bit upset at the decision his mom made to transfer him to Kingdom Prep after his sophomore year.
“At first, I was mad because I had friends I was close with at my former high school, and it was hard to tell them that I was going to switch schools because I saw them every day. I was creating good memories, and we had plans to graduate together. So, initially I was both sad and it made me mad.“
A’Marion admits he quickly realized that transferring to Kingdom Prep was an opportunity for a new beginning and that his initial sadness and anger were replaced by the prospect of a fresh start. He was especially unsure of the idea of “brotherhood”—one of the unique foundational commitments of KP. The idea of no brother left behind became very real to him during the 2022 spring camping trip that all freshmen and transfer students participate in as part of their rites of passage into the Kingdom Prep brotherhood. During the 13-mile hike on the second day, A’Marion recalls an experience where the brotherhood became very real to him.
“Coming in to KP, when they talked about brotherhood, I was kind of skeptical about it because I didn’t know how it really worked. But going on the camping trip that all freshmen and transfers do, taught me a lot—especially when I got lost with a few people, the brotherhood really came into effect and we worked our way together to get ‘unlost‘.”
A’Marion reflects on the power of his changed mindset and credits one of his teachers and coaches, Mr. Carrington Cunningham, for helping him take the same lessons he was learning on the wrestling mat into the classroom and into the growing student leadership roles he was being asked to fill.
“This year, I joined the wrestling team and one of my coaches, Mr. Cunningham, challenged me to change my mindset outside of wrestling into the classroom and be a whole different person. This helped me become more mature and look at how I act in class a whole different way. It’s really transformed me to be a better person than I was last year.“
During his senior year, A’Marion has stepped into a student leadership role. He has served as the senior chapel leader three days a week, standing before the entire student body and staff and calling out each pack leader to report pack attendance to the entire school. As A’Marion looks forward to graduating in a few weeks, he plans to pursue a career in the trades as an electrician and hopes soon to begin an internship with a local electrical contractor. In the meantime, alongside finishing his coursework for graduation, he works 30 hours a week at a local restaurant and is saving his earnings to purchase his first car. As he prepares to leave Kingdom Prep, A’Marion has some advice for new, incoming freshmen:
- make sure you find a positive friend group – “hanging around the wrong friend groups will put you on a completely different path upon graduation.”
- always do your homework – “I don’t think many people talk about it, but the more you backtrack on your homework, the more lazy habits start to settle in.”
- never be afraid to ask for help – “a lot of younger classmates are scared to ask for help—when it’s so easy to email a teacher or talk to them in your free time.”