What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this area?
I am currently the Associate Dean of Scholar Life at Summit Academy Charter School in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Summit Academy is a Building Excellent Schools proposed school that was founded by fellow CUP member Natasha Campbell. As a call to action to address the low level of student achievement in Red Hook, we provide students with an educational environment that promotes academic excellence, integrity and character, ultimately producing professional, and future-oriented adults.
My role as the associate dean of scholar life is to support the Summit Academy’s scholars and families through effective and constant communication, dissemination of information, and fair enforcement of school policies and procedures.
My long-term goal is to be a founder or co-founder of a charter school network that serves Black and Latino males throughout the country.
What is your strongest characteristic and how has it assisted you in your career?
My strongest characteristic would be my ability to perseverance, no matter what the situation calls for. Throughout my life I have had to overcome many challenges and I strongly believe that it has positioned me for success.
Perseverance is something I talk about almost everyday with my scholars, especially my boys. As a staff at Summit Academy, we are constantly message to our scholars that no matter how hard the task/challenge maybe, you can overcome and conquer anything with a will to achieve
Describe three lessons you have learned during your career?
• Lesson #1 - Pursue excellence. Always strive to get better at whatever you do. No matter how good we are at something, there’s always room for improvement.
• Lesson #2 - Take risks. You never know where it can take you.
• Lesson #3 - As you climb the ladder of success, remain humble.
''A person who seeks recognition is much like a goat that wears a bell around its neck to announce its whereabouts.''
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date has been starting a 150 member mentoring and empowerment program called “Sons of Promise” that provides Black and Latino middle school boys with experiences that will ensure their academic, social and professional success. We currently have chapters in Queens and Brooklyn (Summit Academy).
What advice would you give someone running for office for the first time?
I would advise this individual to be very engaged in the community that they intend to serve.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy reading, fitness (P90X!), and mentoring young men in my community (South Jamaica, Queens)