Giving Forward: MGP Alum Now Mentors Youth
Victor Robinson holds four organizations in high esteem: his alma mater, Michigan State University; his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha; his high school, Cass Tech; and the Midnight Golf Program.
“That’s kind of my Mt. Rushmore of proud organizations that I belong to,” says Victor. “So, Midnight Golf is really high up there in my book.”
Victor is a 2006 MGP graduate and a three-year mentor with the program, and is now a lead mentor, with more focus on facilitating activities, making sure young people have time to share, and directing other mentors on their daily roles. He stays engaged, giving upwards of eight hours of his time each week, because of MGP’s familial network.
That same network has carried him through: first as a high school senior facing challenges, then as a college student, and finally as the working professional he is today. Victor is grateful for all that Midnight Golf has done for him. He still stays in touch with his mentor and continues to receive career and life counsel.
It makes sense then that, for Victor, mentoring is both a duty and honor “to give back and pour into these young people the way that I’ve been poured into, mentored and developed.”
Victor is able to connect well with young people because he has a relatable story: he’s a Midnight Golf alumnus, a black male in the inner city of Detroit who made it out of a tough background, and now has a successful career and a wealth of real-life experiences.
“They see in me somebody that they can relate to,” says Victor. “I really have a way with young people and just connecting and understanding the dynamics of what they go through here in Detroit – myself being a native Detroiter, a DPS graduate, and a Midnight Golf alum,” says Victor. “And being a Michigan State alum and member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, I think they see a lot of things in me that they ultimately want to accomplish.”
At just 30 years of age, Victor is operations manager at the Detroit Chapter of PeacePlayers International. PeacePlayers is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of sport to unite, educate and inspire young people to create a more peaceful world.
As much as Victor gives of his time, passion and energy to MGP, the return from the students is even greater.
“Seeing these bright young people that are inherently talented come into Midnight Golf as babies, and really grow into young men and women when they’re done with the program is so encouraging to me. It’s positive energy in my life.”