Featured Alumnus - September 2019

Uriah Berryhill '09
One person who truly inspired me while I was there was Mrs. Lenters. She was my guidance counselor, and she always told me the truth no matter how bad I didn’t like it. I respected her opinion and her dedication she gave to all the students she helped. When I attended CCHS, being only 1 out of 5 black students in our graduating class at times seemed a bit difficult. It was hard to relate, and I believe Mrs. Lenters knew this, and she did everything in her power to make us feel comfortable. She got to know us as young men and women and not just students. She treated us with dignity and respect and tried to understand how difficult it could be going to a school outside of your culture. She was one of the faculty members there who truly showed love for all students.
            After graduating from CCHS, I attended Lincoln College, a two-year college in Lincoln, Illinois. I felt like Lincoln was a breeze and that CCHS did a wonderful job preparing me for a college transition. The teachers at CCHS challenged you beyond your limitations and pushed you to be the best student you could be. If things did not seem clear, teachers did not hesitate to stay after class and help you succeed in learning. Being at Lincoln, I found myself being a peer mentor because of the knowledge I had going into the institution. After receiving my Associates from Lincoln, I then attended Governors State University. GSU changed my life in ways I couldn’t imagine and helped me find the career I love doing. I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from GSU. I was offered a position as TV Director-Producer at GSU and then was offered an Adjunct Faculty positon teaching production courses. I love what I do and the work I create for the university. I also enjoy teaching students who are eager to learn and find their passion through media. I handle most of the promotional work for the University and the different colleges. I can honestly say I wake up and smile on my way to work.
            Overall, I owe a lot of my maturity and sense of responsibility for my life to CCHS. I had my share of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade my education for anything in the world. I felt prepared to attack life after leaving high school. I owe that confidence to the school, and I met my best friends there. I met the love of my life there, Jamila Williams, and we’re expecting our firstborn son. I am the man I am today because of the dedication of the staff at CCHS. I hope to leave a sense of hope to anyone reading this who is attending or considering attending CCHS. I went in a young boy from the Southside of Chicago and came out a young man ready to take on the world. I still feel like I have a lot to accomplish, but I thank God for how far He’s brought me. Discover your passion, and believe in yourself. Be the best version of you!