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Baltimore Sun: Inspiring middle schoolers to thrive

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By Nadia Clarke
Published June 25, 2015

On Aug. 11, 1989, David Miller witnessed the shooting of his friend, Donald Vincent Bentley, on the streets of his native Baltimore. That experience ignited a passion for helping young people of color navigate the difficulties they face growing up in America today.

One product of that passion was the creation of a character-development curricula aimed at middle-school students of color, known as Dare To Be King and Dare To Be Queen (DTBK/Q).

My organization, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) has been using David's curriculum in our summer learning programs in Baltimore and elsewhere since 2007 because it confronts head-on the challenges that many of our students - whom we call "scholars" - face in their schools and communities: managing anger, making good decisions, developing resiliency and overcoming distractions to succeed in school and in life.

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