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High school science teacher has PhD, aged 23

INSPIRATION: Jalaal Hayes

INSPIRATION: Jalaal Hayes

A HIGH school teacher from Philadelphia has his PhD at the age of 23.

Jalaal Hayes, who earned a doctoral degree in applied chemistry from Delaware State University in December, is now in his first year teaching science at Universal Audenried Charter High School.

For the Audenried school community, Jalaal’s presence has become a point of pride for parents who have heard of the young Black man with a doctoral degree.

“In a great way, he represents the hope of the community because they hope their own child will be just as accomplished,” principal Blanchard Diuvua said.

The best part of teaching, Jalaal said, is inspiring teens to dream big. He takes particular joy in encouraging young Black men to develop their potential by asking questions that help them clarify their goals and define concrete steps needed to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

“You can do anything you want to do,” Hayes said. “You just have to have the vision and work ethic to get where you want to be.”

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