Keith Lee has lived in three of the biggest cities in the United States: Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Each city is uniquely diverse in resources, citizens and geography, but he found that the hearts of the American people are similar and filled with compassion to serve one another. Lee had the importance of service instilled in him at an early age by his mother and local community. The community surrounded his single mother with compassion and support.
Years later while still in high school, Lee remembers riding a bus filled with eager community members to the state capital to join a protest and lobby for change in the school system addressing achievement gaps, resource allocation and more. After 600 miles, long days, and a lot frustration, nothing happened. He understood that change was gradual, but something had to be done.
At 16-years-old he began to tutor at an after school program to elementary and middle school students in the areas of math, science and reading. He became a peer mentor to a youth at a community center, visited soup kitchens and volunteered as a videographer filming community events. In 2008, he extended his volunteer commitment to make a personal pledge to volunteer 72 hours a month. Three years later, his pledge became a lifestyle as he served as an Americorps member at West Suburban PADS in Maywood, Ill. Lee is a big believer in by sharing talents and time unselfishly the community becomes strong and is able to function better.