Black History Today: Kendrick Glover, a gem of a mentor creating change in South King County

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a truly unsung hero of South Seattle, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his community and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.


There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.
-W.E.B. Dubois

By Marcus Harden

The highest form of humanity is the authentic and intentional will to be in service to others. Many have stated that there is no greater calling than to honor others in the same way (and sometimes more than) oneself. Yet, if there is an even higher level of existence, it comes in the form of leading through vulnerability and modeling what it means to turn your trials into your triumphs. Very few are as triumphant as Kendrick Glover.

From humble beginnings in Natchez, Miss. (population 14,886!), Kendrick learned the values of love and family from a young age. However, like many youths searching for themselves, he found himself heading down a path that was aligned to his purpose, yet a path he had to journey. This path led him to encounter the Prison Industrial Complex at the age of 16, facing 10 years of his life taken away, a narrative that very rarely has a happy ending. However, Kendrick knew there was more.

You often only learn who you are inside when life gives you the test, and Kendrick began to pass with flying colors. Not letting this moment in his journey define him, Kendrick poured himself into his education, earning his GED during his time in prison and then, upon serving four years of his time, pursuing more education and gaining acceptance into college. Kendrick’s journey would twist and turn, leading him to Kent, Wash., where he knew his passion was to give back to youth in ways he wasn’t given and in the positive ways he was.

Kendrick stepped into service and further pursued his own education, earning multiple degrees, becoming a proud father of two daughters and aligning ever closer to his purpose.  While Kendrick attained what many would define as “good” jobs in places of impact, he knew there could and should be more.

In 2014, Kendrick co-founded Glover Empowerment Mentoring (G.E.M.), a mentoring program aimed in service of youth in the Kent and Puget Sound Region. Kendrick was nearly aligned with his purpose, yet as Maya Angelou said, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues.” Kendrick knew he had to have the courage to go all in, so in 2016 he stepped out on faith, quitting his “stable” employment to begin serving at G.E.M. full time.

Kendrick journeyed into the unknown, living the side of a leader’s life that most people do not see — worrying if this was the right decision, wondering how bills and basic needs were going to be paid, wanting at times to succumb to fear. Yet true mentorship is modeling faith in the face of fear, because when faith manifests inside of purpose, fear crumbles.

Today, G.E.M. has dedicated office space in Kent, with staff that serves hundreds of students through school service and various other mentoring programs. Kendrick is the epitome of servant leadership, uniquely centering the needs of young people, serving as a voice of the voiceless and living in his purpose. His trials have become a triumph for all who are blessed to know him, and while it may be a bit cliché, he is a priceless gem that shines brightly in the Emerald City. That is why Kendrick Glover is Black History, today!


To support and learn more about Kendrick and G.E.M. please visit: