Mentoring for Intellectual Growth
A. J. Rice works with Austin Jackson in preparing and presenting the historical framework of the My Brother's Keeper program to mentors-in-training, along with the pedagogical model that mentors follow to work with mentees.
Rice became an MBK mentor in 2007 during his undergraduate studies in James Madison College (majoring in international relations). He grew up in a Detroit suburb that didn't encompass some of the harshness experienced by the young Black males he mentored. As his understanding and awareness grew during the program, he developed a desire to pursue further studies and a commitment to help those who didn't experience the same opportunities he had growing up in the Black middle class.
"Dr. Jackson helped explain how the MBK program provides exposure to education as a way to inspire higher goals and expectations. When I was involved in MBK it really led to a period of intellectual growth on my part," said Rice.
Advanced studies in political science at the New School for Social Research took him away from MSU, but Rice found himself returning to become MBK's graduate coordinator in 2010-2011, and again in 2012-2013.
"I wasn't always interested in school, but all of my experiences, including the MBK program and Dr. Jackson's leadership, have helped me to develop a passion for teaching and research. I'm very much interested in issues surrounding Black economics and racial inequality in urban spaces," said Rice. "I understand the importance of mentoring and sharing my experiences while encouraging others to have goals and dreams."