By: Demico Guy, 11th Grade Senior, mountain island charter, Charlotte, NC
I have a few role models in life, some I may never meet and some like my father I see every day. One of my role models influenced me as a student and as a young black man, my black educator. Having a black male educator provided more examples of professionalism, hope, discipline and ambition. He gave me and my peers opportunities to express ourselves, help our community, look professional and he also inspired me to be great. My black male educator was Mr. Moss, an intellectual and extraordinary compassionate man.
The lessons I’ve learned from Mr. Moss are to work hard for yourself and others, always have a plan, never give up and to be proud of yourself without worry of what others think. I met him 6th grade year while sitting in the halls, he was the math teacher and I’ve heard a lot his teaching style. The next year I had him as my math teacher and as a mentor in a program he started at the school call the “Gentlemen’s League”. We met with influential people of the community, volunteered around the school and various functions and my favorite part; dressed to impress every Thursday.
He was dedicated to his students, making sure they understood the material and did their best. He would listen to the troubles of his students and cheer for their accomplishments. He built connections with the classes he taught giving refuge to many. I remember one time when what we were learning in class was a little too much for me. I was frustrated and decided to just put my head down on the desk. Mr. Moss saw me with my head down and told me “put your head up…. You can’t learn it laying down.” Slacking was not an option in his class but that toughness made me a better student.
I am now 16 and a Junior in high school. I am strong, confident and educated. My dreams never slip from my vision nor does my will power slip away from me. I will continue to carry the lessons I have learned from Mr. Moss and hopefully become a role model to the next generation.
In a society that has a negative perception of black men and of people who say they want to do something to change it, but don’t try. It’s great to have someone that leads by example, to show what we as a collective can really be. I encourage more black male educators and congratulate them, for the world and young black men need their image as well as their leadership in our journey for a higher education, as well as through life.
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