10 Boys Initiative
What is the 10 Boys Initiative?
10 Boys Initiative is a tier 1 intervention focused on the socio-emotional development of Boys of Color in Boston Public Schools. 10 Boys offers a character based curriculum model to improve students academic performance while working to reshape their life trajectory. 10 Boys hopes to motivate Black and Latino boys to enhance their leadership, decision-making, and critical thinking capacities. 10 Boys Initiative focuses on academic rigor, physical challenges, tutoring, real talk spaces, and community service learning. 10 Boys roots itself in traditional African and indigenous rites of passage traditions modified to fit the school context.
Through the Office of Opportunity Gaps (OOG), the 10 Boys Initiative now seeks to employ African-centered practices, leveraging community partnerships, researching and implementing best instructional strategies, and paving the way for OOG to be the change that will affect Boston Public School district for years to come. 10 Boys is a specialty class designed to impact a heterogeneous group of Black and Latino males of no more than twenty. 10 Boys hopes to eliminate some of the current data that says that Black & Latino males hold the highest suspension rates, occupy the most police arrests, and perform the worst in regards to literacy on state standards assessments. We look forward to your support and accompaniment all along the journey of transformation and revitalization. One Hand Up, One Hand Down! #ChangingLives #WarriorScholars
Click here to download the 10 Boys 1-pager
Mwalimu Donkor Issa Minors, Coordinator, Targeted Programming
Mwalimu Donkor Issa was born in Los Angeles, California, raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and has lived in Roxbury since 1989. Donkor is a product of the Boston Public School system, haven gone to the Jackson-Mann, the Phineas Bates, and then the Timilty Middle School as apart of the Advanced Work Class (AWC). Donkor left the Timilty in 7th grade where he went on to St. Sebastian’s School, an all-boy 7th-12th grade private school. He received his BA in English and Africana Studies from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester; he holds a Masters from Boston College in English Curriculum and Instruction along with a Masters degree in Special Education as well.
Donkor believes education is a transformative process that should liberate young people. He says, “education should be a reciprocal process where the educator and the scholar both transform throughout the process. The movie Waiting for Superman was not supposed to leave us feeling sad, rather it was a calling. Everyday I hope that I can continue to be the bridge between where students are and where they want to be.”
Mwalimu Donkor has been in Boston Public Schools for 9 years. His first assignment was as a Cluster Substitute at the Timilty Middle School, at the very school he once was a student. He spent four years there covering for classes while also teaching Creative Writing, Robotics, and beginning a young men’s group there. There he was able to bridge traditional canon with Hip-Hop music and culture. He received his own classroom assignment at the Tobin K-8 School, where he was for five years. He currently teaches 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts, he continues to teach Robotics, and he also ran a young men’s group called Sankofa MPA (Manchild with a Positive Attitude). Students that were in the passage process shown gains in ELA as well as in character, limiting the amounts of times they were written up or suspended.