Jason Terrell and Mario Jovan Shaw, co-founders of Profound Gentlemen, were roommates during their time with Teach For America in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2012. Mario taught seventh grade and Jason taught eighth. Both held degrees in education and had a personal interest in uplifting young men of color.
While teaching, Mario created the BrotherHood, a program to address the needs of his young black male students, and Jason served as a mentor, athletic coach, and tutor. The two began discussing the lack of black male teachers and how to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline, and the inspiration for Profound Gentlemen was established.
Driven by the belief — and backed up by studies — that “highly effective educators are the single ingredient most likely to impact student achievement,” Profound Gentlemen provides career support for black male educators so they can, in turn, serve as mentors to boys of color, ultimately improving the students’ social and emotional well-being and increasing their opportunities for success.
Mario and Jason have brought Profound Gentlemen to six regions throughout the Midwest, South and East Coast, impacting 7,000 boys of color. Mario serves as director of programming, and Jason as director of development. Both are Venture Fellows of LEE’s Venture Fund & Fellowship, and they were recently recognized for their work on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.