November 9, 2014 by admin
Donovan Livingston was one of the original mentors for Movement of Youth when the organization was first getting its start; he was involved with the program from 2006-2009.
When asked what he gained as a mentor for the organization, Livingston says that Movement of Youth gave him a profound understanding of himself and his personal interests. “At the time, I was struggling academically, and looking for ways to give back to the surrounding community. Movement of Youth was my first opportunity to reach out to students and encourage them to avoid the mistakes I had made, and to be unafraid of setting high expectations. Movement of Youth was my first opportunity to pour into the lives of young people. I had no idea that our mentees would teach me so much about myself in return,” said Livingston. He says that some of his favorite memories with Movement of Youth include participating in dance marathon with the mentees, overnight campus visits, and college acceptances. The one that he cherished the most, however, was driving the van on Saturday mornings. “It’s a mentor’s responsibility to cultivate a positive attitude among the students they serve. I believe those rides in the van truly set the tone for remarkable experiences each week,” said Donovan. Ultimately, his participation with the organization laid the foundation upon which he constructed his career in education.
After graduating from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Donovan began working for the National College Advising Corps. He served as a college adviser at Dudley High School and Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro, NC. He then moved to New York City to work on his Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education at the Teachers College at Columbia University. Upon graduation, he served one more year with the National College Advising Corps at New York University. He was placed at an all-male high school in Bronx, NY, where he served as a College Adviser, Basketball Coach, and Poetry Instructor. The following year, Livingston returned to his home state of North Carolina to work with the Obama Campaign as a field organizer. After the election, Donovan felt eager to get back into the field of college access and success. Ultimately, his professional journey led him back to UNC, where he currently serves as the Academic Advisor for the Upward Bound program. Donovan still remains in touch with Atrayus and truly appreciates the experiences he gained from Movement of Youth.