There are many unsung heroes who make a difference in a child’s life.
When Father’s Day is over and all the tributes have been posted there are two outstanding fathers who make a difference every day that I am proud to know .
Dr. Rudy Jackson, and Dr. Jesse Bemley. I am not sure why they are not appointed to do outreach from the White House, but perhaps it is difficult to see their shining stars as examples of what can be done to help students who need their guidance.Their students know. The communities know. Some groups are beginning to take notice.
Dr. Jackson and Dr. Bemley both mentor and lead students to the possibilities ,the opportunities that are there for them. They are both friends of mine and Dr. Jackson was once a pupil of mine.
In a recent Transformers Conference at the Washington Post, people spoke of being able to transform, change and create opportunities in life.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation says this in a report ” True Merit”
- High-achieving, low-income students are seriously underrepresented at the nation’s most selective postsecondary institutions. Students from families in the bottom economic quartile comprise only three percent of enrollment in the most competitive schools, while those from the top economic quartile comprise 72 percent. Yet many students who are poor and
clearly qualified for admission are either deterred from applying because they misunderstand how financial aid works or rejected because of unfair admissions rules.
- “Under-matching” is a major problem. Only 23 percent of high-achieving, low-income students even apply to a selective school, compared with 48 percent of high-achieving, high- income students.
- Preferential treatment abounds. More than 80 percent of the nation’s most selective institutions give a preference to children of alumni, who are typically wealthy. Recruited athletes are as much as four times as likely to be admitted as other similarly qualified students but, once admitted, dramatically underperform compared to others with similar academic credentials.
- Over-reliance on ACT/ SAT scores puts low-income students at a disadvantage. High-achieving, low-income students
are half as likely as wealthier students to take ACT/ SAT
prep courses, even though it is clearly documented that they raise scores.
- Yet high-achieving, low-income students are successful in selective institutions. Underscoring the magnitude of the report’s findings is the fact that 92 percent of high-ability, low- income students who managed to enroll at selective colleges and universities graduated and did well academically.
Here are transformers that you may not know. Here is how they work.
Dr. Rudy Jackson is founder and president of College Prep Professionals, a company he started about 10 years ago that was originally something he did to help family and friends.
He previously was assistant dean of strategic initiatives and assessment at Vanderbilt University and worked in the Department of Education at Davidson College. He currently serves as director of co-curricular assessment at Georgia Gwinnett College.
Jackson said the market for this service comes from competition of thousands of students applying with high test scores and GPAs. The Zell Miller and HOPE scholarships also added to the demand and the challenge for admissions departments to distinguish top students.
“It’s more than saying ‘Do these 10 things to get into Duke,’” Jackson said. “It’s trying to give students the big picture, and then giving them some strategies.”
Competing against 10,000 to 15,000 other students, Jackson said students must differentiate themselves from others above and beyond those core areas of test scores, grade-point averages and AP classes.
So Jackson shows in classes between 20 and 80 students how to separate themselves from the pack. Classes are typically five to six hours, are customized for individual needs, but also include small group work. He also speaks at career days and college fairs, and left such an impression on Edmonds and fellow recent Grayson graduate Caleb Merritt that they last year invited him to speak to students at their school.
You may remember the articles that share the difficulties for our minority students many are lost in the pathways to achievement. The late Jack Kent Cooke made a point of sharing research to let us know how many talented students are not provided the opportunity to achieve.
Dr. Jesse Bemley founded the Joint Education Facilities, which is a passion of his to educate students to get them to the levels needed to achieve.. He works in Anacostia, which is a part of Washington DC that White House appointees may not know of. Dr. Bemley works in a basement that he has outfitted with computers and has a Supercomputing Center. Dr. Bemley teaches classes in the Center and at Bowie University.
Joint Educational Facilities, Inc. (JEF) is an all volunteer non-profit community-based K-12 organization that works primarily with junior and senior high school students and teaches them advanced computing sciences and contemporary mathematics topics with an emphasis on Intelligent Technologies.
Dr. Bemley works in broadening engagement. That is where I met him, and his son as I tried to learn, understand, and share the message of Supercomputing and Broadening Engagement. We both have been to a number of Supercomputing Conferences and have worked with students. Dr. Bemley lends his leadership to BDPA. Here is a video about his work. Video
He creates, connects and collaborates in ways to help students.
Scott Lathrop, Dr. Henry Neeman and R.N. Panoff have helped us to see how to mentor students into the various fields but the hard work of being disciplined enough, and academically ready to enter these fields is what Dr. Bemely pursues with students.
My tribute to two outstanding people who work for the betterment of students.