Aurum Preparatory Academy

Morehouse College: BA
Building Excellent Schools Fellow

My parents were particularly influential in my decision to go into education. They had an impact on me because I saw the sacrifices they made so that I could actually go to college. I witnessed the late hours they worked to ensure that I could attend school in a better part of town. I also appreciated how my parents advocated for me. In high school, I was placed on the technical track. I distinctly remember my mother taking me to the principal’s office and pushing for me to be on the college prep track. I have the great fortune of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. If it were not for my parents’ effort, I would not be doing the work I am today.

Another big influence on me was reading the Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois. This book transformed and shaped my views on education. Even though it was written over 100 years ago, many of the racial issues that DuBois spoke about are still prevalent today. As the lead founder for Aurum Preparatory Academy, I am building a school that will provide a similar foundation to the one my parents gave me, and address the racial disparities in our society, so my students can to go to college and be successful.

Throughout my career in education, I am proud of the work I did as a teacher. At the high school where I worked there were very low expectations for our students. For example, the highest passage rate on the US History End of Course test for our students was 49%– meaning that less than half of all of our students had ever passed the test. I was able to assist 96% of our students pass this exam. Moreover, for the first time in our school’s history, I was able to assist two of my students in becoming Gates Millennium Scholars.

I love it when I see people accomplish something that they could not beforehand– as a result of the hard work they put in. The parents and families I’ve met make me very hopeful. It’s obvious they care as deeply for their children as my parents did for me. Their love is what inspires me; I believe love doesn’t fail.