When co-founding the mentoring program Each One Teach One in his hometown, Kansas City, MO, Derrick Parker knew he had his work cut out for him.“Growing up as a young black male in the urban community can be hard… When a young boy goes home surrounded by drugs, poverty, and illegal lifestyles it can be hard to focus on what is important, and that is education.”
Needless to say, he persevered.With a school administrator, he created a coalition of junior and senior males from his high school, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, a highly accredited institution.These students were then paired with nearby elementary students as tutors and mentors.
The program’s success is mirrored in Derrick’s own.The senior class president has won two other prestigious scholarships, including a Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship and a Gates Millennium Scholarship.
For inspiration, he often looks to Anne Frank. In his Spirit of Anne Frank Scholarship Award application, he noted, “In a time when she could have easily chosen to doubt and be pessimistic, she chose the other route instead…If [she] could be so optimistic in sucha horrible time why can’t we be today?” It is a great question and one Derrick will take with him to Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, this fall.