This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Black men make up about 4 percent of Philadelphia’s public school teachers.
The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice is working to increase that number by identifying potential candidates who are still in high school.
Fellowship CEO Vincent Cobb said it’s a way to address the misconceptions that young black males may have about teaching.
“We’re trying to change a narrative, and we’re trying to shift mindsets and culture,” he said. “And that has to start early. That can’t start when you’re looking for a job your senior year of college and you’re just trying to get paid.”
Fellowship’s Protégé afterschool mentorship program introduces students to careers in teaching.
Participants shadow and observe the work that teachers do while learning about the impact that teaching can have on their community. They can also take on the role themselves as student-teachers.