"Growing up, I was very ambitious and education-oriented. I soared academically but struggled to find my identity. I yearned for an opportunity to connect with men of color. It was not until my Doctoral program at Howard University that I experienced a Black, male teacher. My goal is to be present in academic spaces every day, so that young men and women can see themselves in me. Additionally, working as a special education teacher placed me inside the classroom to support and advocate for students. My journey with IYT has propelled me from the classroom to opportunities to influence systems and policies that historically work against progress for minority students. Now, I can truly support the whole child with resources that can be provided inside and outside of the classroom."