FEEL GOOD FRIDAY | Teacher of the Year

Professor Colon gives the perfect formula for mentoring.

Professor Colon gives the perfect formula for mentoring.

On this Good Friday I want to put the spotlight on mentors. They’re very hard to find and too valuable to lose. You have a better chance of finding that all elusive needle in the haystack than getting someone to take you under their wing. Believe me, I’ve tried.

It doesn’t mean its impossible. Actually, it’s magical when it does happen–I can vouch for that too–and helps evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

For better or worse everyone’s first mentor is a teacher. And if you’re lucky enough to find a good one that is more interested in molding minds, rather than padding their pockets, make sure to hold tight.

Like University of Buffalo students are for professor Luis Colon. The chemistry teacher was awarded an excellence in science mentoring award from President Obama.

Former students of Colon say it’s well deserved for pushing minorities to break into the mostly white field of science and engineering. For 20 years he’s recruited undergrads in his native Puerto Rico to enroll in his research program at UB.

According to UB reporter, Colon has mentored 27 PhD’s, 14 masters students and 35 undergrads. Most of whom have gone on to pursue careers in major pharma companies like Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Bristol-Meyers Squip.

“He was a great role model for me. He set an example by working hard,and I know that he has worked hard to open the door for young people, especially underrepresented minorities, to go into his lab and get their hands on some fun experiments and learn what it is to be a scientist.”

Even if it meant setting him back some coins. The UB Reporter reports Colon shelling out his own money to cover students travel expenses to research conferences. But, the payback couldn’t be sweeter.

“My students are successful.” Colon told the site.”That to me is very rewarding–that they are successful.”

Trayvon Martin’s Memory Marches On & Obama’s Reaction to Zimmerman Verdict

So, around this time last week I and millions of others had their eyes glued to their TV sets, anxiously waiting for the verdict in the Zimmerman trial to be announced. Once the “not guilty” verdict escaped the judge’s lips it was like a big stone thrown into a pond that reverberated around the world. One week later, people in support of the Martin family marched for Trayvon’s memory and shouted for justice. This afternoon, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized synchronized protests in 100 US cities.

Trayvon’s mom Sybrina Fulton decked out in a ” The Trayvon Martin Foundation” T-shirt, attended the rally in New York City that attracted hundreds of protesters. She stood alongside Al Sharpton and adamantly denounced critics painting her son as a menacing thug.

He was a child. Don’t take my word for it. He had a drink and candy.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s dad, sporting a T-shirt with Trayvon’s face and ‘I love you’ message at the bottom, attended a vigil in Miami and echoed Sybrina’s words.

I’d like the world to know that Trayvon was my son. He was a loved child. He did nothing wrong and we’re not going to let them persecute him the way that they have.

Beyonce and Jay Z stopped by the rally in New York to show their support.

Many celebs are doing more than standing shoulder to shoulder with the Martin family in this tragedy, but have vowed to withhold their entertaining talents in states that have Stand Your Ground Laws. So far on the list are music icon Stevie Wonder and gospel soul singers Mary Mary.  Stay tuned, I have a feeling more names will be added.

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In light of the anger and emotion behind the verdict, Obama addressed the issue at a surprise press briefing Friday, in which he said Trayvon could have been him 30 years ago. Check the full video below for his thoughts on race in this country.

 

Sources:

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