Keishon Tinon – Millikin University

Keishon Tinon has a plan: He wants to open a sports-and-recovery center for athletes. To get there, the Millikin University sophomore is majoring in Sports and Recreation Management, with a minor in Entrepreneurship – while serving as a mentor in ACI’s Peer Mentoring Program and playing as a defensive lineman on the university’s football team.

Tinon, Belleville, Illinois, says he did some research and chose Millikin for career reasons. “What really caught my eye is the job placement rate as soon as you graduate (of) 98 percent,” he says. “It’s also a smaller school, so I just figured you could get more help here, which is true. I feel like I can have a great career once I leave Millikin.”

So far at Millikin, Tinon has made many career-related connections, which led him to apply for positions that involve student mentoring, similar to his experience first as an ACI mentee and now, a mentor. He is a residential and academic peer mentor in freshman dorms and a mentor for incoming freshmen in the university’s Edge program. “I want to provide resources I was provided when I got to Millikin,” he says.

After college, Tinon sees himself in many possible jobs: working game-day operations for sports franchises, coaching and the dream of a sports-and-recovery center. That is why he added the entrepreneurship minor, to learn more about running a business.

When he entered college, Tinon was selected to be an ACI mentee. It helped that he knew his Millikin mentor, who attended the same high school as Tinon. He admits he doesn’t like to ask for help but learned early in college that it was important to ask for help about academics and college life in general. “Once I got in the program, I got more comfortable. I was more able to ask for help,” Tinon says. He recalled weekly check-ins with his mentor, plus attending events together and meeting new people, including other mentees and mentors.

“I liked the program. I like what it did for me, and I want to do the same thing that my mentor did for me,” he says. “I like to help people, especially when I’ve got resources, and people to point them toward. That makes me feel good, just knowing I helped somebody.”

In addition to playing on the Millikin football team and work as a mentor to other students, Tinon works in the Center for Academic and Professional Performance at Millikin and is a part of the Black Student Union.