James Laseter-Hall is featured in the Midtown Educational Foundation 2021-2022 Annual Report for his commitment to academic excellence and being a person of faith, service, and community – core Lasallian values held here at De La Salle Institute.
Read the story excerpted from the annual report and visit the Midtown Educational Foundation to learn more about its mission.
First impressions mean a lot to James Laseter-Hall, a standout 14-year-old freshman at De La Salle Institute on Chicago’s south side. At a very young age and a time of life when countless students and their families seek guidance, James first learned about Midtown. He was indeed impressed.
“Representatives from Midtown came to visit my elementary school when I was in third grade. I was immediately impressed with what they had to offer to help students like me, both from an academic and character development standpoint.“
“After that first visit, I knew I wanted to be a part of Midtown and signed up right away. Since then, I’m happy to represent the center in all aspects of my life.”
James has already represented Midtown at the highest level by earning two of MEF’s most prestigious scholarships: the Dan Jorndt Leadership Award and the Daniel Murphy Scholarship.
Among the many factors that makes Midtown a unique experience for students looking for direction, James states a critical reason why Midtown is so special to him.
“I’ve attended schools throughout my life that have both boys and girls attending. It was important to me that I was surrounded by an all-male staff and advisors who truly understood my experiences as a young man. The male presence at Midtown has helped me so much, especially being an adolescent and an African-American male.”
Citing the three words on how others would describe him (“determined, dedicated, independent”), James is intentional about making an impact in whatever career path he chooses. He is grateful for the career guidance being provided to him at Midtown.
“I haven’t decided what I want to do just yet. I’ve been in several career-focused programs at Midtown that have been of great interest, so we’ll see. However, I really enjoy and take pride in being an orator, as I have spoken publicly for a number of community organizations, including Operation PUSH.”
“The Midtown staff, especially (Midtown Achievement Program Director) Carlos Martinez, continue to help me narrow down my decisions on what I want to do in my life. It’s a great feeling to know you are being supported 24/7.”