CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Christian Mahone has been the principal at South Side Elementary for the past four years.

It’s a goal he’s been wanting to achieve for years. Going from teacher in the classroom to assistant principal he knew he could do more for students and families in a community.

He said becoming a principal is a way he could do that.

Whether that’s helping teach some lessons, being a listening ear, or being a male role model in some students’ lives. Mahone said he wanted to be able to make a change on a larger scale.

He said he also realized being a black male educator is important in the students’ lives. He said so many young black students don’t see representation in doctors, lawyers, or teachers. He wants to show that if he can do it, they can too.

His hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed either. He was contacted by the Jennifer Hudson show to share his story. They flew him out to LA to do some recordings and Hudson surprised him by bringing him on stage during a live taping.

I sat down with him to talk about how that all came about. You can watch his full retelling in the video below.

Hudson gifted Mahone and the entire school tickets to a Chicago Bulls game, but they need your help getting transportation to and from the game. If you want to help you can donate here.

Christian Mahone talks about being on the Jennifer Hudson show

Meanwhile, Mahone is continuing to connect with the students, staff, families, and community. He has even organized a 4th and 5th-grade basketball league that involved all of the Champaign Elementary schools.

They have two more home games you can attend: Thur Jan 12th at 5:30 and Tue Jan 17th at 5:45.