EIP Magazine // Positive Impact “Mr. Lewis”
EIP Magazine; Article written by Rhina Ascencio and Laydy Reyes, EIP Staff
In Summer 2010, Lewis E. Forrest, II accepted the challenge to become the new Executive Director of Early Identification Program (EIP). A program rich in tradition and legacy, Lewis embraced the challenge head on, embodying the notion of Patriot Pride and the George Mason University motto: Where Innovation is Tradition.
Having once served as the Associate Director, Lewis led with unique insight into the needs of the program. At the start of his term, he was determined to accelerate EIP to the next level as a major contributor in the fight for equal access to higher education. In collaboration with staff, he focused on building relationships on and off campus, which peaked support from donors, garnered stronger partnerships with school districts, encouraged greater involvement by students and parents, and secured long-term funding for EIP.
“Lewis is a visionary leader, mentor, and friend who makes genuine connections with students and staff. So it made sense when GMU honored him in this Spring with the University Life Positive Impact Award.”
For us, “Mr. Lewis” has had the greatest impact right here in our office. EIP is a family; and like a close uncle, Lewis has watched many of us (EIP Alumni) graduate from childhood to adulthood. He has seen us blossom and mature into scholars and professionals. Mr. Lewis projects his positive outlook onto others, strives to deliver quality programs, and inspires students to realize the academic dreams they once thought unattainable. Leading EIP into its 25th year, we are now more able than ever to Inspire Excellence Through Education.
EIP Magazine // Positive Impact “Mr. Lewis”
EIP announces the release of EIP Magazine. Formerly the EIP Newsletter, the official publication of Early Identification Program will serve as the primary source for the reading about new milestones for the program, student success stories, the latest news, and upcoming events.
The first issue (Spring 2012) includes a vivid cover story on the inspiration left by former Associate Director Khaseem Davis, told by EIP Alumnae and Teacher Assistant to Davis, Ingrid Rodriguez. The new Associate Director is also introduced as a part of this seasons Hot Topics section. Other stories include details about the widely talked about EIP Rebrand Project, the success of EIP’s first leadership conference Dare 2 Lead (D2L), and the upcoming, 25-year Anniversary of the Summer Academy. Also featured, Executive Director Lewis E. Forrest, II (or “Mr. Lewis”) is recognized by George Mason University Life with the Outstanding Impact Award.
Take a look at the very first release of EIP Magazine, Spring 2012 right here. Enjoy!
EIP Establishes “EIP Magazine”
As we enter the winter break, I wanted to thank the EIP family for all of your support. My first six months as the Executive Director have been very busy and exciting. Our staff is accomplishing many great things that we believe will make the program stronger as we continue to help all of our students be prepared for college. To all EIP Students, please take time over the break to rest and re-focus on the last half of the school year. Parents, keep motivating and supporting your student, and call on EIP and your school community for assistance. Most of all, be safe and enjoy the remainder of 2010!
Message from the Director
By Helen Ackerman
When Lewis Forrest, II, first got involved with the Early Identification Program in 1999, he was hooked. He stayed for nine years, working as associate director, before leaving to take up a Professional School Counselor’s position with Prince William Public Schools.
“I am enjoying being back at Mason,” he says. “I missed the variety of people I worked with––the students and their parents, all the people in the school systems, donors, the staff at Mason.” Lewis got his wish. He is now back at EIP––but this time as executive director of the program.
“…the heart of the program is creating a sense of community and family within the program.” Lewis Forrest, II
Lewis is passionate about the EIP’s goal of inspiring first-generation students towards higher education and professional goals. But he has other desires for the program as well. “A lot of people are just not aware of the impact of EIP––how our work here really does affect a student’s success in school.” He wants to increase recognition of the value of EIP among the school systems, the university, and donors.
To that end, he is doing an intense review of the program to learn what is done well and what can be improved. “This knowledge will help us better serve our students. Our goal is to make them succeed academically, personally, and socially.
“However,” Lewis says, “I’m very mindful that the heart of the program is creating a sense of community and family within the program. That goes a long way to helping kids achieve their goals.” Lewis has a “can do” spirit, and he looks forward to tackling what he sees as one of his biggest challenges––being responsive to all his audiences: students, parents, school and college administrators. “I need to work with them all towards a common goal,” he says, “and recognize how each group wants to contribute.”
Life for Lewis is not all about the job. He loves music, especially hip hop and soul, and plays tennis and basketball. He also enjoys being with his wife, Christine, and his three children, Cheliri, Naya and Isaiah. For him, work at EIP and life at home are a winning combination.