“I was headed down the wrong path,” said Okoro, 17, a senior at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County. “I’m not going to say I was bad, but I was a little rascal.”
Okoro said a mentoring program with William Clay, his elementary school counselor, made him realize he didn’t want his life to take a wrong turn.
“I would say he played a big part in the young man that I am today,” said Okoro, who has plans to attend Coppin State University.
Clay, who has served as a school counselor for 14 years, was recently honored for his work with students such as Okoro, receiving the 2012 Marcus Foster Distinguished Educator award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators, a nonprofit that aims to improve academic achievement among black students. Clay said he was “amazed” when he learned about the recognition.