KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nearly two months after he was exonerated for a double-murder he didn’t commit, Lamonte McIntyre is ecstatic about started a new beginning.
This time he’s heading to college.
“Man I’m excited," McIntyre said. "It’s really an exciting time. They offered me a full scholarship, and I couldn’t refuse it. I’m grateful because I couldn’t afford it."
The KCK man who spent 23 years in prison had a smile as bright as his Christmas tree at his home Wednesday when received perhaps his best news yet: Metropolitan Community College offered McIntyre a full scholarship to attend their Penn Valley campus.
McIntyre received the big news during the 60th Urban League Difference Maker Awards sponsored by the Urban League of Kansas City. The luncheon was held at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Country Club Plaza. McIntyre’s attorney, Cheryl Pilate, was also named the 2017 Urban League Difference Maker for Social Justice Award.
“When I was in prison, I completed classes and got my high school diploma," he said. "I also received 42 credits from Donnelly College. Now, going to MCC will give me a chance to finally graduate college, get my business degree and achieve a life-long dream -- open my own business."
In 1994, McIntyre was just 17 years old when he was sent to prison.
Now, at 41, he said he’s putting the past behind him and celebrating a new beginning.
“On Tuesday, I started going (to) part-time to barber shop school," McIntyre said. "I recently got my driver’s license, and I want to get a car, so things are working out with the support of my wife and family. This will be the best Christmas ever man. God has been good and I have a lot to be thankful for."
“This hits right to the heart of our mission. It’s what we’re supposed to do," said a smiling Kimberly Beatty, MCC’s chancellor.
So, where does Lamonte McIntyre see himself in the future?
“Five, 10 years from now, I hope to be happier than I am right now and more stable," he said. "I want to continue to spend time with my family, time that I lost during all those years. I also see myself contributing to my community."
During the Urban League event, Lamonte McIntyre also received a $2,500 check from an anonymous donor which was secured through the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. In addition to its awards presentation, the Urban League hosted a panel discussion entitled: “To Stand or to Kneel: What is the Real Deal?”
“This year’s Difference Maker Awards Luncheon promises to be thought provoking and soul stirring. We will spotlight the extraordinary achievements of Cheryl Pilate. We well celebrate the resiliency of Lamonte McIntyre and we will engage in stimulating dialogue about the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick and his decision to take a knee during the National Anthem to spotlight disparities in the criminal justice system, “ said Gwen Grant, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.