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Communities that KARE: Ebenezer Chinedu-Ench

A YMCA volunteer is building confidence and igniting a passion for learning in young Minnesotans.

MINNEAPOLIS — "I believe kids have unlimited potential." That's evident, especially if you come across someone as bright as Ebenezer Chinedu-Ench, a volunteer and mentor at the University of Minnesota's YMCA.

The University of Minnesota senior will soon head west to unlock his own potential in medicine.

Chinedu-Ench dropped an amazing bombshell when KARE 11 spoke with him. "I recently found out that I got a full cost of attendance scholarship at the University of California San Francisco," he said. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to go there and just what the future will hold in general," Chinedu-Ench continued.

Chinedu-Ench says that this wouldn't have been possible without help - specifically from the YMCA.

"Mentors in my life have helped me make the correct decisions to improve the trajectory of my life and I want to do the same for other people," said Chinedu-Ench.

That brings us to the University YMCA and the Huntley House. It's a living and learning community for African American freshmen men.

Chinedu-Ench serves as a mentor here.

"I think that's probably the most important thing that I've done, that I'm doing and will do. Every Huntley House man I've talked to has that spark, has that desire and that passion," said Chinedu-Ench.

He also explained how important it is to see where the men are coming from and then give them guidance, the tools and resources to help them achieve their vision.

Patti Neiman, the University YMCA's director of educational advocacy and leadership, also sees that spark in Chinedu-Ench. 

"I think being a positive role model sounds easy, but in actuality you have to make sure your actions and words are in alignment and he brings forward an authentic leadership," said Neiman.

While reflecting on his life, Chinedu-Ench said, "This is my way of giving back to the freshmen and to future generations of African American youth."

Chinedu-Ench tells KARE 11 that he plans on continuing his volunteer work in San Francisco and has reached out to several organizations. He says he's excited to take the "wisdom gleaned" from his experience at the U's YMCA.

Communities that KARE is sponsored by Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.

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