Derek Luke can't recall anyone teaching him to chase his dreams. "People talked to me about how to get a job. No one had ever talked to me about how to pursue my dream." That dream was a career in acting. More than 25 years after graduating from Snyder High School in Jersey City, Luke has turned that ambition into a career, with starring or prominent roles in "Friday Night Lights," "Antwone Fisher," and the hit Netflix series "13 Reasons Why." Now, he wants to help kids in Jersey City and beyond achieve their dreams. Luke is launching the Derek Luke Foundation (DLF) aimed at supporting programs and initiatives for underserved urban communities, specifically focusing on issues that people of color face. DLF kicks off with four days worth of events in Jersey City, beginning today and wrapping up Sunday. It gets underway at David's Barbershop at 2160 Kennedy Blvd., where children ages 12 and under can receive free haircuts, backpacks and school supplies, and more from noon to 3 p.m. … [Read more...] about ’13 Reasons Why’ actor wants to help inner city kids chase their dreams
Inner city education foundation
Sports Brandon Nunez opens the doors into the wrestling room at Columbia University’s Dodge Physical Fitness Center in Upper Manhattan. Everyone looks over. At 5-foot-3 and just shy of 125 lbs, he isn’t the biggest body, but he commands the room. The room erupts with shouts. Recommended Slideshows 76 In Pictures: the Biggest Stadiums in the World 51 In Pictures: 50 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World 32 World's Most Valuable Sports Teams “Ayyy!” He’s got a classic, stocky, wrestler’s build. His well-defined trapezius muscles fill out his Rhode Island College wrestling t-shirt and his large calves are covered with a white athletic sleeve that runs down his left leg from underneath his orange gym shorts. He’s swarmed by the dozens of middle school and high school-age kids who are attending this week’s wrestling clinic. He exchanges a handful of high-fives, fist bumps and daps from old friends. See all of the best … [Read more...] about Beating The Streets: Inner-City Youth Beat The Odds On The Mat
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- For Curtis High School grads Kevin Thompson, Eric Garvin and Derek Alvez, what started as mid-1970s camaraderie on the track and field team grew into a life-long "brotherhood." These close friends share a common goal: To make a difference for others in an act of gratitude for the men and women who helped them through hardship. For 40 years, they all worked on independent projects post-graduation, until both Alvez and Garvin finally joined Thompson's 10-year-old Cross World Africa, Inc. (CWA). Thompson, Garvin and Alvez serve as founder/executive director, president and board member, respectively, of the non-profit organization dedicated to opportunity-based outreach in impoverished African villages and communities in Kenya. The trio says CWA has a "profound impact on disenfranchised urban and rural districts through a variety of entrepreneurial, educational, and aid programs for widowed mothers, elderly citizens, and students of all ages." So far, the … [Read more...] about Curtis alums make a big difference in Africa; is inner-city NYC next?
By Francis Pina Does being me give me an advantage in my inner-city classroom? I often reflect on this question because every school year I learn from a Francis Pina handful of students that I am their very first Black male teacher. If we got 100 teachers in a room, statistically I would be one of just two Black males in that room and one of 50 who will leave the profession within our first five years. I am now in my fifth year of teaching and I want to stay where I am. I know that it’s not my skin tone but my cultural experiences that give me the advantage. I develop close bonds with my students quicker because I grew up in the same Boston neighborhoods as most of them, and have had close bonds with diverse people of color since my childhood. Boston Public Schools (BPS) has a diverse student body that goes beyond race. Someone White might be Albanian or Polish, someone Black might be Haitian or Nigerian and someone Asian might be Vietnamese or Filipino. I have known and been … [Read more...] about Here’s One Way We Could Keep More Black Male Educators in the Classroom
The Eagle Academy for Young Men is a system of six schools, open to grades six through 12, created in 2004 by the group One Hundred Black Men of America. The schools are strategically placed in high-crime areas in all five boroughs of New York City, and in Newark, New Jersey, and could very well be saving lives, reports CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers. At the Bronx school, every student's day begins with breakfast and a town hall meeting where students get to discuss with administrators school announcements and any issues they are having -- one of many things that sets Eagle apart from other public schools. Ja' Paris Sheridan is a 17-year-old senior at the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx. At his senior convocation, he was chosen to speak not as class president, not as a valedictorian but as a young man who's conquered many of the struggles facing the boys in his school. "The Eagle Academy for Young Men was created to make a difference in our black and Latino … [Read more...] about Public education success story for inner-city kids