By Carjamin Scott
NASHVILLE, TN — Michael Pratt, an influential educator, is the Assistant Principal at East Nashville Magnet High School. He is an advocate for mentorship and community engagement and is engaged in multiple mentoring programs including: Fatherhood Fridays, MNPS Rites of Passage, Sigma Beta Club, REAL (restoring, educating, activist, and leaders), and Knights of Prince Hall. Additionally, he is an AAU Basketball Coach. “I strongly believe the words of George Santayana, who stated, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child,” says Pratt.
Two programs that Pratt is most proud of is MNPS Rites of Passage and Fatherhood Fridays. The Rites of Passage program was initiated to develop student academic and social emotional success for young men. Topics of discussion include conflict resolution, family relations, setting career goals, and respect of women and girls. Since implementation, there has been a 50% decrease in student fights. Participants have reported that they are better at controlling themselves, more equipped to focus in class, and able to discern worthy friendships. “The program provides positive adult and community interaction. There is power in involving the community into the lives of our students and families,” mentioned Pratt.
The Fatherhood Fridays program invites local Nashville men to join students for breakfast every third Friday of the month. They discuss life goals, read with students, and invest in their overall well-being. Pratt mentioned, “I clearly see the community and family as our primary level of change.”
Pratt is currently focusing his doctoral thesis on the relationship between African-American fraternal organizations mentoring programs and teenage student college readiness. Pratt continued, “My truth is I have had numerous academic, professional, and personal struggles; however, a most merciful God, supporting family, and strong community has always lifted me. I am a living example of restorative justice.”
Community building is the cornerstone of his work and leisure. His charity is expressed through empowering and restoring young adults. “I’ve cultivated a unique skillset and believe it is my responsibility to share these gifts with the next generation of leaders.”
Carjamin Scott interviews influential educators for The Tennessee Tribune, to be featured, email [email protected]