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TMA Celebrates Black Male Achievement Week

From February 3-9, TMA celebrated Black Male Achievement week by spotlighting two of our mentors, Dave Morrow and Raymar Hampshire. We interviewed Dave and Raymar to get their thoughts on mentoring the young men in the Thurgood Marshall Academy community, and how they draw on their own experiences and past mentors to influence their work as role models for our students. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

Raymar was “inspired to mentor because I realize how many people have had a hand in my own personal and professional development. These same people believed in me, when I didn’t always believe in myself. They gave me confidence, provided opportunities, and modeled success. Mentoring gives me an opportunity to have a similar impact for others.” For inspiration, Raymar draws from the guidance he has received from his father and brother, who “remind me that ‘potential is overrated.’” However, they are not Raymar’s only models: “There are many other countless role models that I draw upon, to not only be a better mentor, but to also be a better person.”

Dave draws on the work of his parents in his role as a mentor. “My parents are my role models,” he says. “Through them, I learned from an early age about the value of community service. We were always working with the community and doing stuff in the church. They made us recognize the position we were in and the responsibilities we had.” Dave also finds inspiration in current and historical figures in the African-American community – individuals such as Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of American Express, Deval Patrick, the current Governor of Massachusetts, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, and of course, President Barack Obama. He explains: “at the end of the day I’m a product of what other people did, and I want my mentee to stand on my shoulders as I stand on theirs. I can play a role in making it better for the next generation.”

TMA used the hashtags #BMAchievement and #BMAmentoring to link our social media to the broader movement. Check out our Facebook and Twitter for more!