15 Huston-Tillotson freshmen named to Apple pre-ed scholars program

Fifteen Huston-Tillotson University freshmen have been named to the 2021-22 university cohort for the Apple Pre-Ed Scholars program.

The university says that currently, only 2% of K-12 teachers in the United States are Black men. This second class of scholars moves Huston-Tillotson University toward achieving its goal of producing 100 Black male teachers.

A total of five students were selected in the initial cohort in 2020, with four remaining in the program.

The Apple Pre-Ed Scholars Program, housed within the university’s 100 African American Male Teacher Initiative funded by Apple, Inc. provides support to high-achieving HT freshmen who intend to pursue a career in education. Teaching career fields include English, history, kinesiology, mathematics, music and science with an education minor.

"Our pledge towards racial justice by increasing the number of Black males in P-12 education will make a huge impact to student achievement," said Dr. Jennifer Miles, Huston-Tillotson’s Director of the Center for Academic Innovation & Transformation and Interim Director of the Center for Academic Excellence.  "The African American Male Teacher Initiative, the only program of its kind within all 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), supports the holistic development of future Black male teachers.  From ongoing professional development sponsored by Apple to hands-on digital training with state-of-the-art devices to learning app development in an effort to advance a 22nd century approach to learning, HT is dedicated to the success of this program."

Huston-Tillotson University President Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette (center) stands with members of the Apple Pre-Ed Scholars Program, HT Faculty, and community leaders. (Huston-Tillotson University)

The following scholars were named to this year’s program:

  • Desmond Beazer from Lake Highlands HS in Dallas, a mathematics major who aspires to become an educator and community leader
  • Lamont Defroe from Eastside Memorial HS in Austin, a kinesiology/biology major who wants to own a business
  • Davonta Gardner from Crowley HS in Crowley, an early childhood education major with a kinesiology minor who wants to own a business
  • Ajani Graham from Westwood HS in Austin, a music education major who aspires to become a music educator
  • Dylan Jenkins from Round Rock HS in Round Rock, an education major who wants to become a teacher and realtor
  • William Hicks III from Manor Early College HS in Manor, an education major who wants to teach and become a coach
  • Nicholas McDermott from Kashmere HS in Houston, an education major who aspires to become a technology teacher
  • Devin Pineda from Lake Highlands HS, a history education major who wants to be a leader in the field of education
  • Jadon Porter from Beaumont HS in Beaumont, a music education major who wants to become a composer and director
  • Tarrynce Robinson from South Early College HS in Houston, a history education major with a communications minor who wants to become a journalism or multimedia teacher
  • Jaylen Spence from Del Valle HS in Austin, a kinesiology major who wants to be an educator
  • Javier Tomlin from C.E. Ellison HS in Killeen, an education major seeking to make education fun and easy to learn
  • Nathan Wallace from Texas Empowerment Academy in Austin, a music education major who wants to create and teach others to create
  • Kameron Wilson from Cypress Springs HS, Cypress, a math education major who wants to become a math teacher/civil engineer
  • Telly Wright from Hazelwood Central HS, Florissant, Mo., a secondary education major who wants to become high school teacher and/or counselor and coach

Scholars are selected on basis of financial need, academic performance, demonstration of leadership, commitment to service, and dedication to pursuing a career in the education field, says Huston-Tillotson. The total award will cover all tuition, feeds, and room and board for an academic year. 

Scholarships are eligible for max three-year renewal, dependent on meeting scholarship requirements, persistence towards graduation, demonstrated financial need, and availability of funding, says the university.

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