Allen's Open Road

ALLEN LEE

Senior Public Programs & Education Manager
National Center for Civil and Human Rights

“Never compare your insides to other people’s outsides.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Perseverance Doubt Self-Reflection Family Fulfillment Dedication Support & Encouragement Character Community Acceptance Individualism Chance Opportunity Experience

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up in Conway, South Carolina, amidst a lot of racial tension within his community—says this sparked his early interest in social justice and youth engagement.
  • After graduating from Davidson College with his degree in political science, he spent a year working a lot of different jobs on campus...including polishing the trophy case!
  • He got a job as a temporary student teacher through a program that sought to get minorities interested in teaching private school.
  • Discovered how much he loved teaching, but struggled with limited opportunities because he was a minority candidate without a teaching degree.
  • The school eventually offered to combine two part-time positions teaching Spanish and art into one full-time job for him—says, “You have to be open to opportunities. Why not?!”
  • Moved to Atlanta where he applied to Teach for America—he ended up teaching in public schools for over 10 years.
  • Attended Georgia State University as a graduate student and received his master’s degree in teaching.
  • Was a volunteer at the Center for Civil and Human Rights before he was hired full time—encourages people to get involved in as many different ways as they can.

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