The holiday season is a time of giving and caring for others. That was certainly the case earlier this month when the Founder/CEO of AllClear ID – an identity protection firm based in Austin, Texas – delivered a check for $100,000 to support the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement, a black male teacher development initiative located at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO). It’s the latest in a series of pledges of financial support for the Center.
Founding Director Warren Bell says the pilot project’s ongoing challenge is identifying college-ready young men to become the next generation of black male classroom leaders. To reach more young men sooner, Bell began visiting local high schools in October. He is searching for young men who want to “make a difference in the lives of young people just like themselves.”
According to Bell, “We have a local education landscape that is in short supply of qualified black male educators, resulting in great career opportunities for those young men willing to seize the opportunity we offer them,” he said. “We underwrite most of their costs to attend college and major in Education at a fully-accredited program right here in our city.”
During his visit to SUNO Dec. 1-2, AllClear ID Founder/CEO Bo Holland made the $100,000 check presentation to university officials and the Center’s namesake (retired) Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré. Company officials toured the SUNO campus to witness progress made since being ravaged by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. They also spent time hearing personal testimonies from students enrolled in the three-year-old pilot program, which was created to help more young men living in the New Orleans area during the city’s post-Katrina school climate to succeed at the college level before serving their communities as classroom teachers.
The Honoré Center recruits young men from disadvantaged backgrounds who are deemed to have character and classroom leadership potential. The students receive substantial resources and support for up to five years — including campus housing and meals, a personal computer, textbook vouchers and a monthly $100 stipend — while they complete their degree. The students must agree to serve for a minimum of two years as classroom teachers upon completion of their degrees.
It takes nearly $10,000 per year to support one Honore’ scholar’s rent, textbooks, meal plans and other basic needs living on campus. That doesn’t include additional assistance provided as needed for clothing, hygiene supplies and other amenities that the program tries to provide to help the students focus primarily on their academic and personal success.
Experts say more than 500 new classroom teachers will needed over the next 10 years in New Orleans. Organizations, such as Teach for America, have already indicated that they can provide only about 150 of those educators within that time frame. For the Honore’ Center, nothing would be better than making sure as many of those future teaching vacancies are filled “Honoré Men.”
“We were delighted by Bo Holland’s gesture of support for our efforts,” Honoré said, “because it represents an investment not only in these young men but also in New Orleans’ future classrooms.”
Source: Southern University New Orleans News