BETTB.E.T.T(Brothers Empowered to Teach) Initiative
Kristyna Jones and Larry Irvin

Program Area:
Location of Impact: New Orleans, LA

Bold Idea: Close the achievement gap by incentivizing black men to teach in urban schools and serve as in-class role models.

Why We Are Passionate About This: Black male students face a dropout rate of 55 percent, nearly twice that of white males. They could greatly benefit from teachers who share their cultural background. Yet, according to the National Education Association, the majority of teachers are white and female. Larry experienced the challenges of being a black male in school as both a teacher and a student, leading him to seek a model that meets the needs of these students. Kristyna struggled to provide for her own education, and her success led her to a twelve year career in housing and community development. We seek to raise academic achievement by emphasizing education as a means to personal growth, not just employment. B.E.T.T. will partner with Historically Black Colleges in New Orleans to train and recruit black male teachers for careers in education, emphasizing both cultural competency and achievement in the classroom.

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These profiles are derived from Fellowship applications.