Mentoring Outside the Classroom

Dr. Norman Powell, director of the Call Me MISTER program here at EKU, educates beyond the boundaries of a classroom.  Eastern Kentucky University is part of a national initiative designed to encourage more African-American males to dedicate their lives to becoming role-models in the field of education. The program, named MISTER (the Mentors Instructing Students towards Effective Role Models), began at South Carolina’s Clemson University as a strategy to recruit teachers under the direction of Dr. Roy Jones.  An example of this strategy is Dr. Powell’s involvement with the Black Males Working Academy in Lexington, KY. 

In 2005, African American males at Leestown Middle School were academically the lowest performing student population, according to the CATS assessment.  In addition, these students had the highest number of office referrals.  There was very limited representation of African American males on the Honor Roll and this population seemed to be socially focused rather than academically focused. Disturbed by the data, Mrs. Roszalyn Akins founded the BMW Academy as a way to reach, teach and keep this population of students from failing. Through the African American Coalition "Adopt-a-School" program, Mrs. Akins created a partnership with First Baptist Church Bracktown.  This partnership focuses on student achievement and academic success. Today, Dr. Roger Cleveland, a professor at EKU, is co-director of the BMW Academy.  Meetings are held every Saturday from 10am – 1pm.  For more information, please visit:

For information about becoming a MISTER, please contact Dr. Norman Powell, or visit:

Published on June 14, 2016