Program Area: Education
Location of Impact: New Orleans, LA
Bold Idea: Increase first generational black male enrollment in graduate programs by providing academic resources, mentorship, and practical support.
Why I'm Passionate About This: In Louisiana, there are more black males in prison cells than in graduate school programs. Growing up in Compton, California in Section 8 housing, I faced challenges that could have derailed my academic success: my single mother’s life threatening illnesses, my own cancer diagnosis, and my family’s poverty. With the help of a strong mentor, I graduated high school at sixteen, finished college in three years, and earned a JD at twenty-two. My legal advocacy and prison reform work has allowed me to witness the dire consequences of a broken educational system. Many young men are ensnared by the criminal justice system due to a lack of both mentorship and resource awareness. First-to-Finish aims to empower first generational black college males to attend graduate school. We prepare high school students to be college ready and then support them for success in college. Our students will be admitted to graduate programs, ensuring that first-generation college students become first-generation black professionals.
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These profiles are derived from Fellowship applications.
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