Michael J. Myers II|
School: University of Pennsylvania
Major Concentration: M.S. Ed. in Education Policy
Educator and Scholar
A native of Buffalo, New York, Michael J. Myers II believes education should be a higher on the list of priorities in our nation's goals. With a failing urban education system that doesn't provide adequate admission for everyone, Myers wants to help create a system that works for those who don't have the means and access.
Myers is currently pursuing an M.S. Ed. in Education Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, and also holds a Masterís of Public Administration from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (Cum Laude) from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo College.
As a man who came from a humble background, Myers' academic excellence has paved the way for an extraordinary future. He was first in his family to graduate with a Bachelorís degree, a Masterís Degree, and the first in his entire family tree to attend an Ivy League School.
"I worked full time and went to school full time while an undergraduate student," Myers explained. " I speak to middle school and high school-aged students in the Philadelphia School District about my No Ceilings approach to life and the obstacles I had to overcome to get to where I am. It's an attempt to motivate and inspire them to aspire to greatness."
You don't have to look far to see that Myers stands out among his peers both academically and socially. He remains actively involved in several organizations including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (National Commission on Racial Justice); National Black Graduate Student Association; he is the co-founder and former Policy Director at the Roosevelt Institution at Binghamton University; belongs to the Criminal Justice National Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma; Mentor/Tutor, GEAR UP; National Urban League; he is the former Vice President, Binghamton City High School Parent Teacher Student Association, and a well-respected tutor.
Like many students, Myers has dreams about changing the world. But Myer's has something many others don't have--a plan. "I currently attend the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school in Philadelphia, PA," Myers said. Accordingly, only 2% of all its undergraduate population comes from families that make $40,000/year or less. While I am not an undergraduate student here, I do come from a family that earned $40,000/year or less. Thus, my responsibility is to provide the tools, knowledge, and empowerment to all urban youth who you come from similar backgrounds access to not just the University of Pennsylvania, but to any other Ivy League school if they so desire. I want all urban youth from low socioeconomic conditions to know that the world is theirs and everything that is in it; that no matter the obstacles and the difficulty in overcoming such obstacles, that they too are entitled to the American Dream and they can do anything they put their head to Ė if they dream it, they can achieve it. In the words of Malcolm X, 'Education is the passport to the future' and I want to help provide them with that passport by 'any means necessary.'"
In his professional future, Myers hopes to be teaching in an urban high school facilitating both the educational attainment of urban youth, and also encouraging the realization and the foundation for the dreams of his own students.
With so many great achievements and the desire to grow his knowledge-base, Myer's influences are undeniable. "My parents have been instrumental in all of my growth. My mom for fostering my love of education; my pops for giving me my sense of work ethic and for telling me I could be anything I wanted to be," Myers noted. "I should also thank my 11th grade chemistry teacher for telling me that I wouldnít amount to anything or anybody; rapper Jay Z for his transformation of thought over the past 15 years and Talib Kweli for saying that '[We] with knowledge is more dangerous than [we] with guns;' and my mentor Kathleen Contrino, Esq."
Myers is a contributing author for the forthcoming TROUBL Magazine and will be available online at TROUBLMEDIA.COM. He is also currently working on authoring two different chapters with two different professors in two different books. The first book is being edited by Gregory Parks and is about Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The first chapter where Myers co-authors examines the philanthropic endeavors of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and its members since the birth of the organization; and the second chapter explores the cradle-to-prison pipeline and how various education policies facilitate the incarceration of our young African American boys, most of which are from low socioeconomic conditions.
For more information about academics at the University of Pennsylvania, visit: www.upenn.edu.
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