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Cultivating Passion to Create Pathways

Marissa Badgley

Marissa Badgley is the Programs & Policy Manager at ExpandED Schools. 

Pictured: The first cohort of ExpandED Schools Pathways Fellows attend monthly professional development workshops at the ExpandED Schools office. This year's Fellowship, in partnership with NYC Men Teach and the Expanded Success Initiative, will provide pathways into teaching or youth development for 20 men of color.

Male students of color make up 43% of NYC’s public school demographic, yet Black, Latino and Asian men make up only 8% of NYC’s teacher workforce. While great teachers undoubtedly come from all backgrounds, and a person’s race is certainly not a pre-requisite for being effective in the classroom, we know that teacher diversity is important for our children, for our teachers, for our schools and for our communities. Published evidence suggests that the lack of diversity among teachers may contribute to the achievement gap. New York City Deputy Mayor Richard Buery has said, “Research shows that students benefit from being taught by teachers with similar life experiences, creating a positive learning environment and leaving a profound impact on students’ grades and self-worth.” 

With this in mind, ExpandED Schools recently launched a new initiative in partnership with NYC Men Teach and the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI). Utilizing expanded learning programs in three boroughs as labs for learning best practices related to classroom management and instruction, the ExpandED Schools Pathways Fellowship is a 10-month program designed to bring in, support, train and guide passionate men of color (Fellows) who are looking for pathways into teaching or youth development careers. Using a blended model of professional development, mentoring, teambuilding and reflection, the program is equipping Fellows with the tools and supports necessary to reach their professional goals, while simultaneously addressing some of the complex issues related to retention, representation and the challenges for men of color in the education sphere. 

This year’s cohort is comprised of 20 highly motivated Fellows ranging in age from 22 to 46 years old. Fellows aspire to become certified teachers, school administrators, school counselors/social workers, coaches or out-of-school time professionals. 

Each of our Fellows has his own story and we look forward to sharing these stories with you over the next few months as a part of our “Meet the Fellows” series. Stay tuned! 


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