Matteson teen possessed presidential prestige at Rich South
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent June 21, 2013 4:34PM
Robert Lee, who wants to go into theater and radio broadcasting, poses at the auditorium at Rich South High School in Richton Park, IL on Tuesday March 19, 2012. Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 25, 2013 6:01AM
Rob Lee, who just graduated from Rich South High School, ended his stint there having made it into the record books.
He is the only student ever at the Richton Park school to have been elected student council president all four years.
“I guess people saw in me the leadership and ability to organize our grade, our class, and voted for me,” Lee said.
Lee was not only well-liked throughout high school, but he was no academic slouch. He earned the President’s Academic Award from the school for maintaining a grade-point average of 3.5.
He said it is all due to his parents, Robert and Sherree Lee, of Matteson.
“They just put a lot of rules and values into me. They told me never to give up and to try my hardest,” said Lee, 18.
In addition to student council, he was a member of National Honor Society, played basketball and was active with drama club.
Last summer, he attended Boys State, an annual convention for the top boys in Illinois that was conducted at Eastern Illinois University. Eight boys from Rich South were chosen for their academic record, leadership abilities and, as Lee said, “I had a clean record with no suspensions.”
While there, he saw the competition he’ll be up against in the future.
“I learned that it is a lot of people in the world who are trying to be successful, just like me,” he said. “You have to be on top of everything, not just your school, but your state and your world.”
Outside of school, he participates in several plays and productions at his church, Valley Kingdom Ministries in Oak Forest, where he is also a member of the Boys to Men mentoring group.
For the last four years, he’s attended the Kingdom Performing Arts Academy, sponsored by his church, during the summer.
“The program allowed me to have fun as well as showcase my talents,” he said.
Lee credits his mother, who loves the arts, with getting him involved in drama.
“I started by attending the Kingdom Performing Arts Academy as a camper; now I work there. I like that you can showcase the many facets of your personality,” said Lee, who most enjoys stand-up comedy and acting.
The performing arts camp is for kids ages 5 to 16.
“I help get them ready for the showcases. Some are shy, so you prepare them. I like that it is not like during school, but in the arts, you can be yourself, act goofy or serious at times and show many facets of you. I like all of that,” he said.
Come next school year, Lee will attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., and plans to major in theater arts and radio broadcasting.
“I would like to be a comedian or an actor,” he said.
His interest in radio came from listening to it.
“I like the idea of being with people going to work or school and trying my best to make their day in the morning,” he said.
Going forward, Lee is keeping his eye on his career path.
“Knowing that other people want to do what I want to do keeps me on top of my game. It keeps me focused,” he said.
So does the fear of failure.
“I don’t want to think about what could have been. What motivates me is being successful and not failing,” he said.