Tolulope Oladele ’13 working with kids at Serendipity Day Camp.
Tolulope Oladele ’13 Earns Heinz Fellowship
Working with children for the last two summers as a counselor at Serendipity Day Camp on Haverford’s campus, Tolulope Oladele ’13 discovered that he wanted his post-collegiate plans to include mentoring young people. And that is exactly what he will be doing, since he was chosen as one of the 10 members of the cohort of 2013 Heinz Fellows, a two-year urban-education fellowship in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Heinz Endowments launched the program in 2011 to place exceptional African American male college graduates in high schools in Allegheny County where male, African American students have perennially struggled to achieve academic success and establish college readiness. The fellows act as mentors, tutors, role models, and living examples of what is possible for their students.
“Once I start at the school I will have about 15 to 20 kids I will be responsible for—making sure they come to class, do their homework, and calling home and updating their parents of their progress,” says Oladele. “Along with our day-to-day engagement with the students in the classroom and one-on-one tutoring sessions, we will also have the opportunity to run after-school programs.”
A religion major who ran track and cross country here at Haverford, Oladele will move to Pittsburgh next month and begin a training and orientation program on Aug. 12, before the school year starts. He and the other fellows will be paid $48,000 and will receive a $20,000 stipend from the fellowship towards graduate school tuition. Oladele intends to pursue a master’s in education and is currently applying to local universities.
“I would have never been in this unbelievable position without the support and guidance from a number of special people,” he says. “I would like to personally acknowledge the three people who wrote my recommendations—[chemistry professor] Fran Blase who has believed in me probably more than I did in myself, my coach Tom Donnelly, to whom I owe a lot of my maturity during my time here at Haverford, and finally, Terrence Johnson for his insightful comments and advice during my thesis writing process.”