JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Teachers play a big role in the lives of little ones. Leaders at EWC know that and that's why they are putting the money where their mouthes are.
"We will actually sponsor your education with a scholarship if you agree that when you graduate, you will spend five years teaching in the elementary school system," Nathaniel Glover said.
Edward Waters College just adopted the "Call Me Mister" program. The goal is to provide leadership skills and scholarships to black males in an effort to boost teacher numbers.
According to the Department of Education, of the 4.8 million educators across the country, black males only make up 2 percent. Less than 1 percent teach at the elementary level.
"I never had a male teacher. So, I think it was a good idea for them to come back and implement and put more males in the classroom, so they can be a mentor inside that classroom," student Roland Young said.
That's exactly the hope. With black males disportionately making up the highest dropout rate and jail population, all can agree. The more positive male images, the better.
"In the role where it's a bright, young person has a tremendous, positive, impression on that young person," Glover said.
AT&T and several other companies have stepped up and donated thousands to the cause. It's an initiative expected to be around for quite some time.
"If I wasn't a senior, I'd be involved in the program, " Young said.
The "Call Me Mister" program kicks off January 2014. The plan is to have three students paid for and ready to start together. The program began at Clemson University in 2000.