A High School Teacher’s Journey from Corporate to the Classroom

A High School Teacher’s Journey from Corporate to the Classroom
By Fred Harrell-Williams

“I honestly had to leave to live out my purpose and passion in life.Fred Williams-Harrell is a teacher at the School of Biotechnology, Health, and Public Administration at Olympic Community of Schools in Charlotte, NC. He is also a 2017 Profound Gentlemen Build Impact Fellow. Read his journey from the Corporate to the Classroom and the opportunities that opened up for him. Support his journey: Click here to visit his Go Fund Me Page

I began my journey in Jackson, Mississippi at Jackson State University (JSU). I chose JSU after attending JSU High School Day as a 9th grader and knew the school was for me. In college, I joined Phi Beta Sigma, Inc, an organization that promotes brotherhood, scholarship and service and I majored in Education and Finance but chose to pursue a career in finance. I later received a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX.

The corporate world provided me with an avenue to build lasting relationships and develop strong leadership skills, but I was not satisfied. I wanted to live out my purpose, so I transitioned from corporate to the classroom. I honestly had to leave to live out my purpose and passion in life. I had a desire to leave a lasting positive impression on students and nurtured this desire by becoming a high school teacher teaching Principles of Business, Personal Finance, and Business Law in Charlotte, NC. In the classroom, I found that I was able to utilize the skills from the business world to inspire students to leverage their intrinsic motivations, develop integrity, and establish authentic communication to meet and exceed the demands of the world.

I have several noteworthy accomplishments within my first year at Olympic High School. I currently serve as the Student Advisor for the “We Are World Class – Boys Book Club” and the Head JV Girls Basketball Coach. My Bookclub meets frequently and we dig into books that push my boys to think about their career and their passion. They currently average a 3.8 GPA. Outside of the classroom, I hold the position of Champion/Representative for Next Level Leadership Academy, ( an organization dedicated to teaching students leadership skills to balance life in the real world) and am an advisor for Let Me Run male mentoring group.

“I believe that students are the future; thus, every experience should lead to a pathway to success.”

In August 2017, I will be traveling to Kunguee, Uganda. After rounds of strenuous applications and interviews, I was accepted into the Limited Resource Teacher Training (LRTT) Program– Uganda 2017. LRTT is an outstanding program for aspiring teacher leaders.They tackle the challenges of teaching in poor-quality conditions with limited resources by training and equipping qualified teachers with tools to develop practices that will benefit and empower their schools and communities. Their teacher-training model will lead me through cycles of workshops, observations and coaching to enable me to become a self-reflector and continuously improve my teaching and encourage colleagues to do the same.

During the summer, I will be creating video documentaries that capture my experience and look to host a few staff training in my school. This experience is designed to benefit my school community, especially my students because I will have firsthand training in enhancing their education regardless of the obstacles and resources that I am given. When I finally followed my purpose, opportunities began to open, and I look forward to continuing to develop and grow my school and community!

Support my Journey to Uganda- Click here to visit my Go Fund Me Page