Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Just Call Them Courageous

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Just Call Them Courageous

Article excerpt

Six young men from the "Call Me Mister" program stopped by the offices of Black Issues late last month, and you can call us "impressed." For those of you not familiar with "Call Me Mister," the project's mission is to recruit and train Black males as elementary teachers in South Carolina's public schools.

The Mister scholars, all from South Carolina and attending the project's three participating historically Black colleges -- Benedict, Claflin and Morris, are closer to the age of our summer interns, but we were inspired and encouraged, nonetheless, by these young men's decision to teach.

When we polled the scholars on how many of them had Black K-12 teachers growing up in South Carolina, only about two of them said they did. Therefore, we can only imagine the impact they will have on the lives of their students, particularly young Black male students who are desperately in need of male role models and mentors who have occupations in fields other than professional sports and the music and entertainment business.

Some of the Mister scholars said they did not enter college with the intention of becoming teachers, but many of them had considered various careers in which they could give back in some way. For others, teaching never crossed their minds until they heard about the Mister program.

And despite being discouraged at times from pursuing teaching careers because of low salaries compiled with other factors, the Mister scholars do not seem to be hesitant about their four-year commitment to teach in their home states. …

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