What is an educator?
ed·u·ca·tor | \ ˈe-jə-ˌkā-tər \
By definition, it is someone who is "skilled in teaching; a student of theory and practice." (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/educator)
If we delve deeper into its meaning, we see, that an educator is a student who never stops learning. The juxtaposition of student and teacher is in the idea that you teach what you have learned, and learn, what you hope to one day teach.
Brian Herbert once said, “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.”
We Are All Educators (WAAE) is a career mentorship program that offers opportunities and exposure to high school students who have vested interest in learning about different fields of study. The philosophy of this organization is that we all have something special that we can offer to the world. By using our unique gifting, God-given talents, and abilities, we can build up our communities and be agents of grace and of change locally and globally. Every day, the board members, students, and supporters of the WAAE willingly commit themselves to learning more and growing their mindsets and expanding the vision that they have for themselves. This organization was conceptualized by its founder and visionary Darrell Holloman in 2006, while he served in the Peace Corps. With diligence, dogged determination, faith, and resilience, The We Are All Educators Organization was established in December of 2016 as a non-profit organization. Since then, Holloman along with his trusted board members, have been boots on the ground; seeking support from the community it most closely serves, in order to best help and support the young adults who grace their path.
At the We Are All Educators second annual Gala, which took place virtually on October 18, 2020, do to the stay at home order issued earlier this year, because of the Corona virus, Holloman boasted that in just three years’ time, “the WAAE has helped over 100 students get summer jobs, aided over 100 students with their college applications and job applications, and has helped nearly 600 students think about and devise a plan of action for themselves after they graduate high school.” One of The WAAE’s board member's, Melissa Jordan, also shared that though 2020 has been challenging for all us, “The WAAE is small but mighty organization; and this summer, was able to provide a virtual internship experience and curriculum for a cohort of twelve interns the organization hosted from Prince Georges County and Washington D.C.” The students learned everything from resume writing, to entrepreneurship, and they even had the unique opportunity to meet with a representative from IBM.
This exciting venture opened the door for The WAAE to network and partner with IBM collaborating with them to bring IBM's worldwide program to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area! Holloman excitedly shared that the “Open PTech Bishop McNamara High School STEM Program powered by IBM presented by The WAAE" is set to start exclusively at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland. This program will offer professional digital badges and certificates, mentors, an opportunity to receive an Associates degree and a chance to intern with major corporations such as IBM and other Fortune 500 companies!
The Gala was jam packed with active participants. The chat room offered a space in which people felt comfortable to share their thoughts, ideas, support, and accolades, and served as a way to network with those who were in attendance. There was an interactive breakout session, where attendees were able to converse more intimately with one another and with some of The WAAE students. There was also live entertainment from DMV’s own Go-Go band, "Suttle", during the dinner portion of the evening provided by Uber Eats.
Some of the most touching moments of the event were hearing from the students of We Are All Educators. Participants gained a better understanding of why an organization like this so critical, and what it means to those who are most closely connected to it. One student, Angela Brown, The WAAE’s 2020 President said, “The WAAE is a safe space where we all can be mentored. The guidance of The WAAE helped me to figure out what I wanted to do, and how I could get there.” Through the work of We Are All Educators, the dreams of these students who aspire to be entrepreneurs, bio-engineers, doctors, pharmacologists, philanthropists, and leaders, do not just stay dreams, they become real possibilities! Holloman and his team provide opportunities for those students to see themselves in and occupy those spaces with confidence.
We Are All Educators continues to be a beacon of hope and light, and it shines brightly on the leaders of the next generation. It is with wisdom, perseverance, and integrity that this organization forges ahead to make the world a better place, starting at home, in its own community.
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