Minority Men in Mathematics

I will be writing a piece in a few weeks in reference to this young man’s father Mr. Jeter and his take on why it is so difficult to find minority men to teach core subjects like mathematics. Mr. Jeter is a Mathematics teacher at Newark Collegiate Academy.

How I Got Here: Abayomi Arowolo ’15

My mom and dad are teachers, so I was taught from an early age to “work first, play later.” That lesson stuck with me.

Photo by Matt Furman

My mom always kept me busy when I was younger. During elementary and middle school, I attended academic summer camps. In high school, I spent a lot of time with my church’s youth group. My mother pertinaciously believes that people should always be looking to better themselves. Through the years, I’ve found that what she says always turns out to be right.

My parents teach math, so math, science and technology were emphasized in my household. That’s one factor that led me to major in civil engineering. But in high school, instead of taking Spanish or German to fulfill my language requirement, I took Mandarin Chinese. The course allowed me to branch out and connect with a group of students I otherwise might not have slapped hands with in the hallways. And I still have all my notes from class; I don’t throw away documentation.

Organization is a key part of my life. There’s so much to keep up with as a student-athlete: classes, homework, meetings with professors, practices, games, work. I find the best way to stay on top of everything is using Post-it Notes. Every day, I write
down everything I need to accomplish on individual Post-its, and I have my own methodology for ordering and completing each task. I tried using my iPhone to stay organized, but there’s something about having a hard-copy document.

Track has this organized chaos to it: You have everything going on all at once. Football helps me remember to take everything one day at a time.

There are a lot of ways to describe me, but no singular label defines me. I’m a son, a student, a dual-sport athlete, an aspiring structural/geotechnical engineer and a Mandarin Chinese enthusiast. Last spring, I was named a “Campus Cutie” by the TCNJ edition of Her Campus. I still can’t believe it. It’s a nomination that I pray will help me meet that special lady, because the math and science pickup lines just aren’t doing the trick.

—as told to Brandon Gould ’12


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