Educational institutions, government, civic and charitable organizations are among the many who have taken on the challenge to provide solutions to the nation’s high school dropout problem. One of the most innovative responses is found in the nationally-acclaimed Call Me Mister program whose founder, Dr. Roy Jones, was the recipient of the National Dropout Prevention Center’s (NDPC) 2014 Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award For Excellence in Dropout Prevention.
The annual honor, which recognizes an outstanding individual and their contribution to dropout prevention initiatives, was presented to Dr. Jones, executive director of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education’s Call Me Mister Program at Clemson University. Call Me Mister (an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role-models) launched its first chapter 10 years ago at Clemson and now has chapters at 15 South Carolina colleges and universities and eight other states.
In a state with a student population that is 40% African American, Call Me Mister was designed to bring more African American males into teaching at the elementary school level not only to increase the talent pool of well-prepared minority teachers but to also serve students in educationally at-risk communities with top-tier education.
Dr. Jones and Call Me Mister has made significant contributions to the dropout prevention effort in South Carolina and the nation. The successful program has also received funding from the Kellogg Foundation for a newly-launched Call Me Mister program at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.
Dr. Jones, who has implemented and directed numerous acclaimed higher education programs throughout his career, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; his master‘s degree from Clark Atlanta University; and his doctorate from the University of Georgia. He was recognized with the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award for Excellence, additionally, for his dynamic leadership in providing opportunity, support, mentoring and character-building for promising elementary school teachers throughout South Carolina.