'Doing the work isn't hard': NCCU programs target Black male student achievement

Akilah Davis Image
Thursday, August 10, 2023
NCCU programs target Black male student achievement
"Doing the work isn't hard"

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Gareon Green is breaking barriers in his family. The Winston-Salem native is a first-generation college student who moved onto North Carolina Central University's campus Wednesday.

He shared with ABC11 why his male friends from high school don't go to college.

"I want to major in criminal justice and be a lawyer," said Green. "Most of them say school isn't for them. The work they say is not for them."

According to the United Negro College Fund, Black men have the lowest college completion rate at 40 percent.

At NCCU, enrollment continues to grow. While female students make up 70 percent of the student population, males make up just 30 percent.

There are programs on campus that help support Black male student success like the Marathon Teaching Institute, where Marquis Smith is president.

"It's a pathway designed for minority males to advance their way into the classroom," said Smith.

He told ABC11, campus leaders nurture this group by holding informational meetings, exposing them to local school districts, and providing networking opportunities. The goal is to produce more male teachers and get them jobs right out of college.

"A lot of teachers are women. So I feel like males in the classroom, hold weight. Being a Black male is almost a rare sight," Smith said.

He hopes to be a history professor one day shaping the next generation of historians.

Both Smith and Green understand that it's going to take a community to graduate more male students.

"Doing the work isn't hard. It's the things you put before your work, that's not more important than your work," said Green.