*Educator and author Dr. Paul Miller knows all too well the obstacles that young, poor minority males face in the inner city. As a boy raised in the projects of Rochester, NY, he was one of them. Many of his peers were raised by the streets, later confined to a hopeless life on the city blocks, in prison or even worse. Fortunately, Dr. Miller, who is the principal and CEO of Green Tech High Charter School, had a grandmother who instilled in him the value of education. Now, he is doing the same for others.
At Green Tech, some of the most forgotten about students are transformed into the future leaders of tomorrow. Student enrollment consists of 97% black males, and more than 80% of them are classified as living in poverty. However, since 2012, Dr. Miller has been able to perform wonders. Under his leadership, the graduation rate at Green Tech has reached 94% with a 100% college acceptance rate for graduates. In addition, students have earned over $13 million is scholarships.
“Here at Green Tech, our key to success is that we have developed a safe haven for students and their issues because they often come into school without academics on their minds,” Dr. Miller said. “They have other challenges in their lives. We offer workshops and programs that work on the whole child to help them become prepared to tackle the work and grow and develop properly. Academically, we do things differently than other schools. We have set up things so kids can’t fail. We groom kids for success here.”
Amil Rodriguez, a 17 year-old senior at Green Tech knew what he was in for the second he stepped into Dr. Miller’s office for the first time with his parents. Not only was education taken seriously in his household, but Dr. Miller committed to keeping an eye on him. From the very beginning, Rodriguez learned valuable character traits.
“One of the biggest areas was time management. They throw a lot on you as a freshman. They give you all the rules, all of the assignments and you don’t know how you are going to handle it,” he said. “But if you ask for help, they help you. At first I couldn’t handle the workload, but now I have improved my time management.”
While Rodriguez was able to adjust as time progressed, others had difficulty getting on track.
“Not everyone is made for Green Tech,” he said. “Not everyone can handle the structure. But it is not bad at all, you have to learn how to handle it. If you can’t handle being reprimanded, being asked to tuck in your shirt, and pushed to be your best, it may be too much. [Some students] can’t take the direction, but you have to realize that no one is trying to hurt you in that building.”
Shane Francis, a graduate of Green Tech who is now an employee, can relate to experiencing challenges with the structure as a student. At his previous school in St. Albans, Queens, he was typically able to coast through classes despite skipping often and not taking academics seriously.
“I was someone who really fought against structure and discipline a lot,” said Francis. “I thought I was on top of the world. I was smart but I was bad. I did whatever I wanted.”
When he attended Green Tech, things began to change.
“I didn’t like it at all. I hated it and the transition was tough. There was more structure and it was a power struggle. I wanted to roam the halls when I wanted to. Things changed from me not having work to challenge me to then having work to meet that challenge. All my classes I got were honors classes. It was what I needed, but I fought it. I left and went back to Queens, but eventually, I returned and the rest is history.”
Francis is currently attending Schenectady County Community College and looking pursue a degree in managerial accounting.
Witnessing the success of his students and others in the community makes life worthwhile according to Dr. Miller. As someone who has spent more than 15 years in urban public education and in school redesign and reform, he understands what it takes to build the next generation of leaders, and he embraces the responsibility of imparting lessons in young men both inside and outside of the classroom.
Dr. Miller has been recognized by the City of Albany as a Man of Valor, and as one of the top 40 Under 40 African American Leaders by the City of Rochester among other accomplishments. He is also the author of two books – We Need to Do Better, a book on the importance of collaboration between families, schools and the community to empower and educate urban youth; and the other called CyberBullying: Breaking the Cycle of Conflict, which is a qualitative study of the black female experiences with cyberbullying in urban environments. Needless to say, for the husband and father, kids are his life.
“Our youth have to do better,” he said. “Their mindsets have to change, but it is up to us to improve their mindsets by having the right systems and procedures in place, expanding their surroundings, and developing their minds. The morals and values of education aren’t where they need to be. There are amazing kids out there and we have to do whatever we can to lead them to successful and productive lives.”
For more information on Dr. Paul Miller and Green Tech High Charter School, visit www.greentechhigh.org or call 518-694-3400. To schedule an interview with Dr. Miller, contact Ivan Thomas of Intrigue Media Group at 202-904-4790 or [email protected].
Intrigue Media Group
Making People Laugh About the Hardships of Teaching Keeps Eddie B. Going (EUR Exclusive!)
*Eddie B. hit the mark when his “Teachers Only Comedy Tour” in 2017 played to sold-out audiences. His later show “I’m Already Professionally Developed Tour” was also a huge success.
With funny and telling commentary about what teachers really think has made Eddie B. a hit with educators and comedy fans around the world. While the former teacher is excited about his success, he takes it all in stride.
“People ask me why am I so humble and I don’t know how to answer that,” Eddie B. told the EUR in a recent phone interview. “The only answer I came up with one time is that the more thankful you are you have no choice but to display humbleness. You have to be thankful for what you have. So being humble and thankful go hand in hand.”
With COVID-19 rendering comedy-tours practically non-existent, the Houston native keeps the jokes coming and his routines fresh by crashing virtual conferences held by, of course, teachers.
“I’m doing a lot of Zooms,” Eddie B. said. “I’m doing everybody’s meetings and convocations. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Thank God.”
The consummate “class clown,” he was always the funny one in the room and began making serious moves as a comedian while attending Texas A&M University (Kingsville).
Although he was earning a local name for himself, Eddie B. was not making the kind of money he had hoped. Continuing the comedy club circuit after graduation and taking odd jobs, he began teaching because it was steady pay. He remained a teacher for 13 years while still doing comedy.
“A lot of teachers say, ‘I’ve been wanting to teach my whole life. I was born this way.’ No, you weren’t.” the single father laughed. “I’m a tell you right now 70% of all teachers didn’t want to teach. I guarantee you that. Teaching is a profession you get stuck in. The only reason you get stuck is because of the kids. You know the money’s not keeping us. It’s our relationships with the kids and other teachers too – the camaraderie of it all.”
Eddie B. retired from teaching for a short while during his tenure but soon had to return to pay the bills.
“I’m hearing Steve Harvey and ‘em say, ‘You gotta jump. Take the leap,’ That’s cute,” he added. “But what the hell do you do when you take the jump and you get pulled back? I jumped as high as I could and got snatched back down, which led me to believe that it’s got more to do with timing then jumping.”
Down but not out, Eddie B., who showed off his craft on YouTube, said a voice inside his head told him, “’Hey, why don’t you do a video about (teaching)?’ So, I shot it before the kids got in my (school) room and put it out by lunch time. But I was like I don’t even have teaching in my comedy.”
“A couple of days later on my Instagram I got about 100,000 views,” he continued. “I thought something was wrong. I thought it was a glitch. It was just teachers bouncing it off and that was the magic of it. It kept growing and growing. Millions of views and the video was only sixty seconds. It was called ‘What Teachers Really Want to Say’ and I was like man if they like this I’ve got 13 years of this.”
Now that he was getting traction, he had to figure out a way to keep the momentum going with the newer audience.
“What they (the teachers who liked his videos) didn’t know was that I’m a comedian,” Eddie B. said. “They just thought I’m a funny teacher. I had to take what I knew about teaching and put it in a (comedy) set now.”
But could he do that without alienating those who had supported his regular comedy for so long?
“My comedy wasn’t always clean. I used to curse with every other word. I’m from the neighborhood and a large percent of my audience is Caucasian (white women teachers). They don’t want to hear that language. But I’ve been on tour for almost 4 years now and I’ve toned it down. I had to grow with it and learn on the job. It was like teaching.”
For more on Eddie B., and to find out where he may be next virtually and otherwise, go to his official website here.
You can also buy his book, “I’m Already Professionally Developed: Straight from the Teacher’s Desk,” released last year.
JeffCars.com’s Review: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
Highlight: This year’s model includes a solar control fixed glass roof.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $37,070 (Base Model: $28,725)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: airbags; side airbags; ABS; a radar activated cruise control system; a blindspot collision avoidance assist system; a rear cross traffic alert system; a forward collision alert system; a high beam assist system; tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; a stability control system; a tire repair kit; and a rearview camera
Standard Equipment (Blue): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive; LED headlights; LED Daytime Running Lights; LED taillamps; a push button ignition starter; a keyless lock/unlock system; a hands free trunk; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; dual power folding mirrors; a solar control glass a chrome tip single exhaust; cloth seats; manual control front seats; rear split folding seat with a center armrest; a push button gear control system; an automatic climate control system; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; and an 8-inch infotainment screen
Standard Equipment (Limited): 17-inch wheels; full LED taillamps; side mirror LED turn signal indicators; dual power heated folding mirrors; heated body color side mirrors; a rear bumper with parking sensors; laminated front glass; solar glass roof panel; leather seats; power front seats; heated and ventilated front seats; a wireless device charging system; dual charging USB ports; front console mounted rear vents; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a heated steering wheel; a 10-inch infotainment screen; a 12-speaker Bose audio system; a heads up display (HUD); a highway driving assist system; a Hyundai digital key; an electronic automatic rearview mirror; a 360-degree camera; an electronic blindspot monitor; ambient lighting; and front and rear parking sensors.
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None
Other Trim Levels:
non hybrid trims
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM
Apple CarPlay/Android: Yes
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Hybrid System Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Hybrid Battery Warranty: Lifetime
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/192-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 45-city/51-hwy
What’s New: The eighth-generation Sonata has evolved from a vanilla looking ugly duckling to more like a swan, taking more styling cues from the sixth- generation breakout design, which was a game changer for both the midsize car market as well as the Korean brand.
To continue reading the review, click here.
About The Reviewer: Jeff Fortson is the host of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, the only syndicated multicultural automotive radio show on the airwaves. The 30-minute weekly show, which airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials, includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers. The engaging show, which goes beyond traditional car talk, can be heard on your mobile and stationary audio devices, clicking here.
Richard Sherman Tackles ‘Adulting’ The Right Way In New Digital Series / EUR Exclusive – WATCH
*Known for being frugal, NFL star Richard Sherman is handing out financial advice to young people in a new digital series.
Launched in August 2020, “Adulting With Richard Sherman” is a 12-part digital show produced by Million Stories Media. The new media company, a project from the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, offers programming focusing on career, money, and budgeting matters for millennials and young families.
“Richard Sherman is the perfect choice to headline ‘Adulting,’” said Shelley Miles, CEO of the Singleton Foundation, in a press release. “His personality, personal story and likability will draw in viewers and his passion for financial matters will help get young people interested in their own financial futures. He connects with our foundation mission on so many levels and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
Available at no-cost on millionstories.com, viewers can expect no-nonsense talk from the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, who reportedly drove a $30,000 Dodge Challenger until as late as 2018. Topics include handling student loans and staying away from payday loans (see episode here).
Additionally, Sherman tackles other topics such as building credit and having an emergency fund, which is great advice especially during the pandemic. (See episode here.)
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