HomeTop StoriesNonprofit Greater Philadelphia is paving the way for future teachers

Nonprofit Greater Philadelphia is paving the way for future teachers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local educational nonprofit is paving the way for future teachers and reaching new heights this year by providing hands-on experience to an unprecedented number of future teachers.

He is no stranger to Shamar Long in the corridors of the Germantown Friends School.

“Earlier, in 2016 and 2017, I was a student in the breakthrough program,” Long said.

Looking back at one of his old assignments from that time, other things have remained the same.

Long recalls what it was like to be a student at the breakthrough of the Greater Philadelphia Summer Enrichment Program, but now he’s back as a teaching fellow six years later.

Shamar Long, a teaching fellow, at Greater Philadelphia’s summer enrichment program

It is a summer program that works to combat the teacher shortage by providing the next generation of diverse teachers with classroom experience.

“I love that I get the chance to speak with students who may never have had a black male teacher in a classroom,” he said, “because I know that’s a scarce commodity in the world right now.”

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This summer, more than 30 teaching fellows and 180 students will participate in the programme. That is the highest number in the program’s history since its inception in 1995.

Classes range from science, debate and art, while students like 13-year-old Nevaeh Tice get the chance to stay busy during summer break while getting ahead with their education.


“It makes me very happy to be their first student,” Nevaeh said, “and hopefully give a good impression of what students should be like.”

Program leaders say more than 450 students have completed the nine-week fellowship, with three of the four becoming educators by the end.

It’s a goal he hopes to achieve long after graduating from Villanova University.

“In my future, I would really like to be a black male teacher, just because not only do I have the degrees and education,” Long said, “but also because I have the chance to talk to kids who I know come from the same background.”

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A background he proudly hopes to share with his future generations.

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