Jamel Holmes (‘19) is a 2017 recipient of the Peter Greeman Scholarship, awarded by the Community Teachers Initiative (CTI) to master degree candidates pursuing teaching careers in a New York City public school or an urban school district in the New York metropolitan area. He is the first Lehmanite to win the award.
“Winning this scholarship has forced me to believe in myself,” said Holmes, who is an active member of Lehman’s NYC Men Teach program, which supports and helps train men of color who want to pursue careers as educators. “This accomplishment will allow me to continue my work.”
It is no surprise that Holmes is excelling at the head of the classroom. He has wanted to teach since he was a youngster in the Bronx. “I believe that children need a safe and nurturing environment to grow,” said Holmes, who grew up in the Parkchester section of the borough. “With the assistance of teachers, children are able to mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially.”
After graduating from City College with a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies in 2016, he enrolled at Lehman, where he is currently pursuing a master’s in childhood and childhood special education. He also works as a teaching assistant at P.S./M.S. 29 in the South Bronx.
Holmes clearly loves his job and recalls excitedly the time he helped a first grader learn how to read. “The student went from being an emergent reader to being on grade level by the end of the school year,” he said. “It was both rewarding and challenging.”
“Jamel represents excellence through both his academic performance and his willingness to organize test preparation classes. He makes a point to encourage and uplift others who are part of NYC Men Teach,” said Fatima Sherif, director of Lehman’s NYC Men Teach program. “He will be a wonderful educator because he is committed to the young learners of our community.”
Holmes will be on hand for a screening of the documentary, Developing Your Teacher Identity Beyond the Classroom, that will be shown at Lehman College on February 9th from 4-6 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room in the Music Building. Following the film, which highlights a trip to Washington D.C. last spring by members of Lehman’s NYC Men Teach program, there will be a special panel discussion and dinner.