Kendrick Glover, executive director of Glover Empower Mentoring (GEM) in Kent, received the 2022 Larry Gossett Service Award from King County for his work with youth.
The award recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the areas of racial equity, social justice and/or human rights.
“I nominated Kendrick for this award because of his leadership and tireless effort to provide a better future for our youth,” said King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, whose District 5 includes Kent. “Kendrick has transformed the lives of BIPOC youth here in South King County through compassionate community mentoring and restorative justice programs. He has created positive pathways to education, employment and healthy relationships – truly exemplifying the meaning of this award.”
The King County Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee and the King County African American Affinity Group selected the winner from the nominations. Gossett is a former King County Council member.
“This award is not just an individual award,” Glover said. “It’s accepted as an individual but it’s on behalf of the community because without the community there is no work to be done.”
Glover started Glover Empower Mentoring in 2014 at the Kent Parks Community Center. The nonprofit, now at 827 N. Central Ave., works with high school youth and young adults in South King County and engages youth and mentors in a three-pronged approach to prevent and reduce delinquency, school truancy, criminal activity and other high-risk behaviors.
“I want to continue being an inspiration, influence and inspiring youth and young adults not just in King County but throughout the nation,” Glover said in accepting the award.
Glover said the nonprofit serves more than 2,000 youth per year.
Glover grew up in Mississippi and received a 10-year prison sentence for robbery at age 16, according to a previous Kent Reporter story. He later turned his life around and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Seattle University.
While attending Seattle University, Glover interned with Councilmember Gossett. He said he learned how to be a servant leader from Gossett.
“This is a full circle moment to come here,” Glover said. “He (Gossett) always made me feel welcome and accepted.”