August 9, 2022

Education For Live

Masters Of Education

Physical Education Grad Overcomes Hardships to Earn Degree

4 min read

As the Class of 2022 prepares for Commencement, Might 6–7, The School Now will spotlight how some of our graduating seniors invested their time at CofC, and what the upcoming holds.


Pierre “PJ” Edwards II doesn’t recall at any time possessing an African American male teacher. A indigenous of Charleston, South Carolina, Edwards grew up on James Island in which he attended community K-12 educational facilities.

“I was a person of these kids on the outskirts,” claims Edwards. “There weren’t incredibly quite a few people today who appeared like me at school.”

That’s part of what makes the Contact Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Job types) software essential for upcoming educators like Edwards, who will graduate from the University of Charleston on Saturday, May well 7, 2022, with a diploma in bodily schooling. The aim of the Connect with Me MISTER plan is to raise the pool of male instructors from diverse backgrounds, specially African American male instructors.

“The MISTERS plan actually means anything to me,” says Edwards, whose initially style of teaching arrived in superior faculty when he labored for the Charleston County University District’s right after school program and noticed firsthand the require for additional African American male instructors. “It’s a brotherhood of like-minded individuals who share the exact same enthusiasm and, though some of us appear from distinctive walks of lifetime, our passions and plans are the exact same.”

And a passion for educating runs in his spouse and children: Edward’s older sister Sharmaine Roaden ’11 is a Spanish trainer and inspired him to follow her route from CofC to the classroom.

Edwards will be the to start with to convey to you that his journey as a result of faculty was a very long time coming. He was not a standard college pupil when he arrived to the College in 2013. With a target of keeping credit card debt absolutely free, he commuted 30 minutes to campus to show up at lessons total time, when also juggling four work opportunities.

“In 2017 I turned mentally and physically exhausted to the stage that I could no for a longer period keep up,” claims Edwards, who experienced to get a 3-yr crack before resuming lessons in 2020. “I use my tale to encourage other individuals to persevere, lean into all those who really help them and recall that it’s not how you start off, it’s how you complete. I advocate for male educators to be unapologetically reliable with them selves and to the youthful lives they’ll effect – to improve the narrative and societal point of view about us and and lastly to not permit enthusiasm be mistaken for conceitedness.”

Edwards says he would not have built it to the finish line at the School if it hadn’t been for the professors who available him “100% guidance.” A handful of of these essential educators include the late Floyd Breeland, previous director of the College’s Contact Me MISTER software and South Carolina point out agent Rénard Harris, vice president of accessibility and inclusion and chief diversity officer at CofC Karen Smail, affiliate professor of health and fitness and human overall performance and Anthony James ’12 (M.A.T.), CofC’s director of minority schooling and outreach and the Get in touch with Me MISTER program. Edwards is also grateful to have received the Constantina P. Padgett Instruction Scholarship and a scholarship by a grant from Dominion Vitality, both of which have assisted empower him to satisfy his objective of graduating personal debt absolutely free.

“Pierre’s tale is one particular of willpower and perseverance,” states James. “After some own hardships that impacted his academics, he still left the Faculty. He returned immediately after a a few-calendar year hiatus, and the instant he stepped on campus, he assumed the position of mentor and chief for quite a few of the more youthful MISTERs. He shared the stories of his hardship and what he had to do to overcome them. In spite of struggling for the duration of his to start with stint at the Faculty, Pierre returned and excelled academically. He had a 3.7 GPA his 1st yr back. He often shares that his passion for educating young children is his strongest motivator. I’m so happy of Pierre, and I know he will be a amazing physical schooling instructor.”

Immediately after graduation Edwards hopes to use the expertise he’s realized to advocate for the actual physical and emotional properly-getting of youthful males from varied backgrounds. As a basketball coach at St. Johns Superior Faculty, a rural island college located about 30 minutes from the CofC campus, he has found that “whether it is paddle boarding or pickle ball, there is a variety of physical fitness for absolutely everyone. This is the very best time in their lives to set up balanced practices, which – in flip – provides young ones a enhance in self-confidence.”

This tumble he’ll set all that he has learned to use in his first formal educating occupation at Charleston Charter University for Math and Science. Smail says Edwards’ upcoming pupils ought to rely by themselves blessed.

“Pierre is an inspiration and job product whose existence in the classroom transforms the practical experience for all students,” she claims. “Pierre embodies the expression ‘life-long learner’ as he strives to instill in each of his pupils the passion for movement. Pierre is the trainer you want your youngster to have.”

 

 

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