Like many young black men, Deonte Bridges’ list of obstacles and challenges read like movie credits: fighting the allure of drugs, being robbed at gunpoint, surviving his brother’s death and his mother’s cancer diagnosis and dealing with a steady barrage of negative stereotypes. Still, for as long as he can remember, Deonte has always made academic ambition a top priority. His hard work, high ambition and perseverance paid off when he became the first black male valedictorian for Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School in 10 years!
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"We believe the W.E.B. Du Bois Society's strategy of increasing African-American students’ engagement in and commitment to learning is a strong complement to Teach For America's drive to reform education."
As long as she can remember, Khadijah Williams floated from shelters to motels to armories along the West Coast with her mother. She attended 12 schools in 12 years; lived out of garbage bags among pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. Every morning, she upheld her dignity, making sure she didn’t smell or look disheveled. And none of these obstacles stood in the way of her path to Harvard University — the cream of the crop in Ivy League higher education. She is a shining example of how hard work, good study habits and high academic ambition pays realistic, achievable and serious dividends.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Society has experienced exponential growth and demonstrated significant impact in a relatively short period of time. Some of our proudest accomplishments to-date include:
Recognizing Academic Ambition:
In the pilot of our 90+Celebration program, we have engaged three new public schools to celebrate and reward academic ambition in Atlanta elementary, middle and high schools.
Nearly 300 students have been inspired to pursue academic achievement and were celebrated for demonstrating the behaviors associated with academic success -- such as showing up prepared for class, actively participating in classroom discussion, joining or starting study groups and assuming responsibility for completing homework.
Fostering the Behaviors that Lead To Academic Achievement:
We have hosted more than 100 student events, competitions and trainings that equip students with the skills they need to succeed in the classroom. This translates to success outside of the classroom.
Motivating Through Recognition & Rewards:
Hundreds of students in public schools are publicly recognized and rewarded for their personal effort, progress, and achievement
Celebrating and Honoring Academic Excellence:
In four years, the W.E.B. Du Bois Society is proud to have selected nearly 150 students as W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars to honor and celebrate their outstanding academic performance.
Expecting & Enabling College Pursuits:
The program has a 100% record of effectively transitioning high school graduates into the colleges and universities of their choice, including some of nations most elite institutions.
Shifting Attitudes and Behaviors:
Students' attitudes and behaviors are strongly impacted by peer-centered experiences.
Promoting Academic Excellence Through The Media:
Through our media partnerships and recognition programs, we have spotlighted hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students for their personal effort, improvement in a math or science-based subject, and for overall sustained excellence.
Our celebration of their success takes place in schools and on radio and television programs that reach hundreds of thousands of young African-Americans in the Atlanta area.