“That case and others influenced my decision to get into the field of education. It’s the way I can work to try to equalize things for people of color and people in poverty. We can’t move forward as a city when so few of our students earn college degrees. I've seen kids finish high school at the top of their classes but then struggle in college. Some have to take remedial courses; others flunk out. So many of them are not academically prepared. Education is our modern day civil rights issue.
“The work I do now as the Founder and CEO of a charter school [Freedom Preparatory Academy] is 10,000 times harder than practicing law, but it’s 100,000 times more fulfilling. You see the results; you see the kids grow and develop and mature. It’s beautiful. We teach them how to think critically and how to express themselves. We teach them about cultural things, about code-switching. Our goal is to transform the southeast corner of Memphis. Parents in this neighborhood shouldn’t have to worry about their child not having the opportunity to go to a school that will prepare them for college. If they choose not to, okay, but they should have a choice. I have photos on my phone of some of our kids who started with us as 6th graders and who are now in college. They send me their grades; they send me pictures of dorm rooms. I am so proud of them. I don’t have children of my own, but when they tell me that they’re planning to attend Xavier, TSU, Jackson State, U of M, I think: If this is what it feels like to be a parent, it’s got to be great. I’m so proud. All the tears and hard work are worth it.”