Physical Education Grad Overcomes Hardships to Earn Degree – The College Today

by | May 2, 2022 | Education

As the Class of 2022 prepares for Commencement, May 6–7, The College Today will highlight how some of our graduating seniors spent their time at CofC, and what the future holds.Pierre “PJ” Edwards II doesn’t recall ever having an African American male teacher. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Edwards grew up on James Island where he attended public K-12 schools.“I was one of those kids on the outskirts,” says Edwards. “There weren’t very many people who looked like me at school.”That’s part of what makes the Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program essential for future educators like Edwards, who will graduate from the College of Charleston on Saturday, May 7, 2022, with a degree in physical education. The goal of the Call Me MISTER program is to increase the pool of male teachers from diverse backgrounds, particularly African American male teachers.“The MISTERS program literally means everything to me,” says Edwards, whose first taste of teaching came in high school when he worked for the Charleston County School District’s after school program and saw firsthand the need for more African American male teachers. “It’s a brotherhood of like-minded individuals who share the same passion and, although some of us come from different walks of life, our passions and goals are the same.”And a passion for teaching runs in his family: Edward’s older sister Sharmaine Roaden ’11 is a Spanish teacher and inspired him to follow …

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