Channon Griffin, affectionately known as Prezzo (short for President) or Pop Tart, walked into Kingdom Prep looking more like the “little brother” than the freshmen applying for his first year of high school. Channon joined us as a dynamic founder, taking the bus from school over to Kingdom Prep while he was still an eighth grader. As a member of Founder’s Council, a crew of rising freshmen committed to building our high school prior to the start of their founding year, he was a major part of the decision making when it came to elements like uniforms, mascot, clubs, etc. He quickly became one of our most committed, zealous students. He was born and raised in Milwaukee, having attended Milwaukee College Prep prior to enrolling at Kingdom Prep. He came to Kingdom Prep because he wanted the opportunity to build a high school and be a part of a lasting brotherhood.
Channon was one of our first interns. He quickly recognized that sitting behind a desk was not where he wanted to be for the rest of his life. He wanted to work with his hands, work with people and he wasn’t afraid to get dirty. As a junior, he had every intention of pursuing a career as an auto mechanic. He received an internship at Felsing Auto where he got to explore how to work with cars, everything from rotating tires to changing the oil.
Fast forward to senior year where Channon’s post-secondary desires began to shift. It wasn’t until late October that Channon realized that he had a gift for working with people. After considering a handful of careers, he decided to apply for the Bell Ambulance Cadet program. Twice a week, instead of coming to school, he would go to Bell for EMT training. On top of which he attended afternoon EMT study sessions and ride-alongs with licensed paramedics. He was told all along that many people do not pass the EMT test the first time around. Apply again. Round two is always much better. Between managing his senior year classes, studying for EMT exams and preparing for graduation, Channon did not make the cut the first time around. But, that did not stop him.
The summer following graduation he was determined to try again. He enrolled himself in a Medical Terminology course with MATC to help with some of the EMT jargon. He then reapplied for the Cadet program in the fall. He successfully made his way through the program and graduated as a Cadet six months after graduation.
A few months ago, Channon walked into our building proudly sporting his EMT uniform, huge grin on his face. He had done it. And, without realizing it, just by walking around KP with his new uniform on, he was demonstrating what is possible for every “little brother” at KP. He walked into the collaboration space for teachers and said, “Guess what I did the other day? I delivered a baby.”
With the right mindset, setback is the catalyst for greatness, especially when combined with a commitment to identifying and using God-given gifts and talents. Channon discovered not only what his God-given gifts and talents were. He found something that he was passionate about, he fiercely went after it, and he now gets to serve his community of people.