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Alumni Feature:
Rashid Duroseau ’05

Featured in Becoming 2020

When Rashid Duroseau ’05 was a student at Harley, he was constantly seeking ways to get involved in our community. As a student, he participated in, to share a few examples, speech and debate, HAC soccer, and theater. Academically, he was a National Achievement Student finalist and an AP scholar with distinction. Upon graduation, he volunteered to be an alumni representative for his class. After Harley, he attended Williams College where he acted as president of the student council and served as a member of the college’s Lehman Council for Community Engagement. At commencement, he was awarded the Muhammad Kenyatta Community Service Award.  Rashid spent his January winter term volunteering with the Common Ground Relief group after Hurricane Katrina. Eager to do more, Rashid and his classmates, Sawyer Jacobs ’05 and Andrew Rea ’05, travelled south to help the recovery effort. As a result, they filmed a documentary, “Water Proof: A Study of Post-Katrina Culture.” Following college graduation, Rashid joined the Mid-Atlantic Corps of Teach for America, a not-for-profit focused on achieving educational equality. He taught in West and North Philadelphia for three years and, after a move to New York City, joined Democracy Prep Charter Middle School in Harlem as a faculty member. After seven years as a sixth grade teacher of Ancient Civilizations, he has a new position: Civics Program Director at Democracy Prep Public Schools—a charter network of schools made up of 22 campuses around the United States. In his role, he will be directing the Civics Programs for all of their schools.  “The opportunity to expand my impact to 6,000 children was the only thing powerful enough to pull me out of the classroom,” he said.  Democracy Prep’s aim is for Rashid to develop programming preparing students to be active members of their community, with civic engagement playing a central part. His vision in his new job is to make sure the schools have a sense of interconnectedness around their mission and programming, guiding scholars to lives of active citizenship. Rashid notes Mr. Bob Kane’s Hospice class at Harley was a major turning point in his life, opening his eyes to his ability to touch the lives of others. Looking back at Harley, and the qualities he learned here—being kind, staying connected to your community, and living a life of great purpose—Rashid is excited to be able to pay it forward to his students.