Demond Washington is completing his student teaching assignment at Frederick Douglass Academy this semester. It is his ideal assignment since he plans on becoming a teacher in an urban school district.
That will make him something rare in America, a black male public school teacher.
Washington, 34, a Wayne State University senior, will join a profession of which black men make up only 2% nationwide, according to a study done by the U.S. Department of Education.
“All students should have teachers who look like them and reflect them," Washington said.
He feels that a greater impact can be made on the students, by teachers who share the same background and culture as they do.
Washington was born and raised in Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools.
He is enrolled in a program called Morris Hood Scholars. The program was created by the Michigan State Legislature in 1998, whose intent is to place educators in urban schools, providing students with positive black male role models.
“Our program is unique because it gives men of color the opportunity to take their place within the educational setting," said Kevin Williams, coordinator of the Morris Hood Scholars Program.
He said the program selects 53 black male college students each year and more than 80% of students who join, remain in the program, completing their degrees.
“The program is like a brotherhood, and I like that it gives assistance with tuition,” said Washington.
Washington was interviewed about the program Sept. 13 at Douglass, by Channel 7 Action News Anchor Carolyn Clifford.