January 18, 2012 (St. Louis, MO) — At a surprise ceremony today, the FBI presented its Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) to Mr. Anthony Thompson, President and CEO of Kwame Building Group, in front of students he mentors at Mel Carnahan High School of theFuture.
Every year, each FBI field office across the country selects only one recipient within its jurisdiction for this prestigious award. FBI Director Robert Mueller, III will personally present the award to each recipient at a national ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2012.
The DCLA was created in 1990 as the principle means for the FBI to honor individuals or organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence to help keep America and its kids safe. Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas R. Metz of the FBI St. Louis Division said, “Giving back to the community is inherent to Mr. Thompson. He not only serves as a respected role model to young people, he is committed to helping them realize their potential from elementary school all the way through college and at the professional level.”
Mr. Thompson once said, “Steel sharpens steel and men sharpen men. The only way someone will know how to be a good man is to see one.” That’s why he helped establish the “Gentlemen’s Club,” a mentoring program at Carnahan to inspire young men to be gentlemen and leaders. Mr. Thompson and his employees mentor the students at Carnahan every other Wednesday. They haven’t missed one session since Mr. Thompson helped establish the “Gentlemen’s Club” seven years ago.
Mr. Thompson takes time to mentor the students despite his busy schedule as the president and CEO of Kwame Building Group. His company, a construction management firm, has offices in 8 states and is headquartered in St. Louis. When he founded Kwame Building Group, Mr. Thompson wanted to provide opportunities for growth, development, and leadership to young professionals in the construction industry. Seventy-percent of employees at Kwame are minorities.
To remove any barriers to college, the Kwame Foundation funds $60,000 to $90,000 a year in college scholarships to improve educational opportunities for minorities and first generation college students. The Foundation has been funding college scholarships for 8 years.
In 2010, Mr. Thompson’s family experienced a tragedy when his brother was shot and killed by a teenager in a random robbery. Instead of withdrawing, the family opened their arms even wider. Through the Kwame Foundation, Mr. Thompson established the “Tyrone Thompson Institute for Nonviolence.” The institute honors his brother, who also dedicated his life to advocating non-violence and being a role model for young men. The institute has volunteer mentors in 5 schools with hopes of expanding to all elementary and middle schools in St. Louis. The mentors help suspended students learn non-violence skills and work on materials they are missing by being out of school.