Peoria High School graduate wins national 100 Black Men mentee award

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PEORIA, Ill. – A graduate of Peoria High School is the recipient of a national award from the 100 Black Men of America.

Andrew Conton is the 2019 Mentee of the Year.

“It’s something I’m really grateful for because of the people I’ve met, the opportunities I’ve been able to become a part of, and will become a part of,” Conton said.

He graduated from Peoria High School this year. This August, he’ll be attending Benedict College in Colombia, SC.

The 100 Black Men of America is a national organization focused on developing mentorship. The organization began in 1963, while the Central Illinois Chapter was founded in 2003.

Paul Hursey is the Mentoring Chairman at the Central Illinois chapter of the 100 Black Men of America.

He nominated Conton for the award.

“You have to go out there, and you have to get it,” Hursey said. “He’s a go-getter.”

Conton accepted the award this May at the organization’s National Converence in Las Vegas.

Conton is the second recipient of the Mentee of the Year award from the Central Illinois chapter in the last five years alone. Hursey says that’s a testament to the work of the organization.

“We must be doing something right.” Hursey said. “And we plan on continuing on this vein.”

The Central Illinois Chapter hosts community outreach activities throughout the year. Some of those activities include their Mentoring for Life (M4L) Program, the African American History Challenge and various scholarship programs and celebrations.

Their next celebration is the 100 Excellence Gala, which will be held Aug. 24 in Bloomington.

For more information on the Central Illinois chapter, visit

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