On May 19 2001, I received a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University. Among the crowd at the campus Fieldhouse were proud parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and other loved ones for the many graduates receiving diplomas. One of the proudest in attendance that day was my father, Sam Rashid. I remember that day vividly. He said he could die a happy man since his only child had graduated from college. Five months later, he would die unexpectedly.

Graduation from Kutztown with (left to right) my grandfather, mother, and father.

My father grew up in an economically depressed, rural farming community in Ohio. He saw firsthand how important education was to life and instilled that appreciation in me. After they were married, my parents sacrificed to put my father through school. He eventually earned a degree in business from Cleveland State University. He never missed the opportunity to remind me how that degree opened new professional doors leading to a better life for him and his family.

Since my father passed away in October of 2001, I have thought often of the words he said earlier that year – that he could die a happy man knowing I graduated from college. I have also thought about the many people who might not experience the joy of seeing their son, daughter, or loved one attend college because of financial reasons. In 2001 my family established a scholarship fund in my father’s name at my alma mater, Kutztown University. It is my goal to raise more money for that fund over the coming years.

My goal’s as an educator is to determine how we can continually improve our educations system. An area where I believe we can still make great strides is in the diversity of our educators. In public schools in the United States, 77% of teachers are female, and 80% of teachers are white. These numbers are not in proportion with the students in those same classrooms. Research has shown that, “assigning a black male to a black teacher in the third, fourth, or fifth grades significantly reduces the probability that he drops out of high school, particularly among the most economically disadvantaged black males.”

It is critically important that we work to make our educators as diverse as the students they serve. That’s the goal of the Rashid Family Education Scholarship. The successful recipient of this scholarship will:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Pursue a major in Elementary (Pre-K through 4th grade).
  • Be a minority or male candidate.
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.” The Rashid Family Education Scholarship will help a student from need work towards a degree in education, allowing them to help change the world, as a teacher, through the power of education.

If you are interested in contributing to that change in the world, please consider contributing to the Rashid Family Education Scholarship fund. You can go to the Kutztown University Foundation page at: Kuf.org/rashidfamily.

Thank you for your generosity!

Mike Rashid