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Pathways to the Future

ExpandED Schools

By Rebecca Forbes, Administrative Assistant, & Daniel Levitt, Financial Literacy Project Manager

Above: The first cohort of ExpandED Pathways Fellows participate in a reflection activity near the end of their fellowship.

 

 “This fellowship has been as lifesaving as a penicillin shot.” 

 

Not very often do you hear an initiative being compared to a seminal 1940s antibiotic, but for many of our Pathways Fellows, the 10-month experience was just as vital. 

This week, ExpandED Schools celebrated its first cohort of Pathways graduates. Eighteen men of color took part in a year-long exploration of the education field, receiving not only a field placement in an ExpandED Schools program, but also intensive professional development and mentorship from our team—and from each other. The Pathways Fellowship, in partnership with the Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality, NYC Men Teach and the City University of New York, is designed to enliven the teaching profession by creating avenues for entry for men of color, who, as research has shown, have a positive impact on young students of color in creating strong role models and relationships. 

The Fellows’ collective dedication and commitment to their work and their kids was incredibly evident at the graduation, which was attended by families, ExpandED Schools staff and Junior Board members, and representatives from NYC Men Teach. Each Fellow was presented with a certificate and a special designation illuminating his mastery of two specific skills—things like love, integrity, resilience, keeping it real and smooth-talking. With each presentation, the group’s camaraderie shone through, highlighting the true community the Fellows had created together. The ceremony concluded with toasts from the Fellows, who underscored the deep impact this program has had on their lives and futures. Time and again, Fellows spoke passionately about the support they received from their school mentors, friends and families as well as their peer Fellows and our own Marissa Badgley, Programs and Policy Manager for ExpandED Schools, who managed the initiative. 

With this cohort gearing up for graduate school, certificate programs, and school-based and afterschool jobs, the opportunities before them are varied and great: Fellows have already secured placements with NYC Teaching Fellows, NYC Collaborative, New Visions Urban Teacher Residency, Bank Street School of Education and more. These future educators’ passion for their work, what has truly become a calling, is awe inspiring. We’re excited to see how they’ll impact the next generation! Congratulations to the graduates!