Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Hogue.
Jamie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey began as a young boy growing up on the south side in the Robert Taylor housing projects. It was here that I was exposed and bore witness to many traumatic situations and experiences that left and indelible impression upon me that I carried with me for the duration of my life. It was my humble beginnings that my life work was being fastened and setting the stage for my work as a mental health practitioner in schools. After finishing high school at Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School (Wolverines) in 1998, I went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in English (2002) from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. During this critical time of my college and gradute school experience, I was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Incorporated (Mu Kappa Lambda Chapter #555) the first historically African-American intercollegiate Greek Lettered fraternity in (2004). After pouring myself into my graduate studies where I developed a passion for human behavior, I earned a Master of Science in Educational Psychology (2007) from Southern Illinois University Carbondale where I wrote my graduate thesis on “Black Men and The Perceived Barriers that Keep them from Seeking Therapeutic Counseling Services.”.
After graduate school, I became a school counselor and school counseling department chair at Carbondale Community High School in the span on 8 years (2008-2016) in Carbondale, IL. It was here, at CCHS that my work began as a student advocate and mental health professional. Mentoring students and researching trauma-informed practices and Adverse Childhood Experiences (A.C.E.S.) were the basis and foundation of my work. After witnessing many of my black male students struggle to function academically, socially/emotionally all while attempting to “sort out” their traumatic experiences, I was compelled to move and make changes in my professional and educational practices that would enhance my skills so that I may serve this “under-served” population . I began to research educational and psychological interventions for high school students that would support and enhance the Illinois State Board of education social emotional curriculum. I applied many of the new and innovative trauma-informed practices and procedures with my students at CCHS that yielded positive social/emotional results.
After graduating from McKendree University (2012) with a Master of Arts in Educational Administration & Leadership, I then went on to become an Assistant Principal at Parrish Elementary School in Carbondale IL (2016), and currently at Thomas J. Kellar Middle School in Robins, IL (2020). At Kellar School, I have trained school faculty/staff on the importance of identifying student ACES and how to support and teach students from a social and emotional perspective/mindset. I have been featured on the “Grow Thru It” podcast (episode 17) where I outline my plight and my personal journey to address my ACES and how therapy helped me change the trajectory of my life. My life work is to shed light on the necessity of providing trauma-informed practices in schools, the implementation of therapeutic counseling services in under served and marginalized communities and outlining the historical, political and cultural implications of failing to provide social, psychological and therapeutic services to men of color, more specifically black boys and men.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The process of bringing attention to an under served and marginalized community has not always been easy, however recently, there has been national conversations taking place as it as it relates to bringing attention and providing resources for black boys/men and their A.C.E.S. In many schools, there is still an unfair practice of over-representing black males in special education, black males in the penal system and the lagging life expectancy for black men. It is my goal to continue to advocate for black male mental health practices in education and to eradicate exclusionary disciplinary actions against black boys in schools across the nation.
Please tell us about Mental Health Advocate for Black Males.
As a former school counselor (10 years), I advocate for student rights and best social-emotional practices for students. As an assistant principal my role has changed, however my mission remains the same. My mission is to address the A.C.E.S. of black males and students in the primary and secondary educational environments, also to be a beacon of hope for my teachers to build their emotional well being, social emotional practices, and mindfulness so that they can be their best selves and educators in the middle of a pandemic. This is important to me a as a instructional leader. Supporting, and implementing social emotional practices as it relates to self care for my teachers is a priority. I have a vision to implement social and emotional curriculum (policies, practices and procedures) across the nation and to shed light on the ramifications (increased school drop out rates, increase in penal population, prison recidivism, and increase of deaths among black males in America) of failing to successfully provide under served students with the necessary social and emotional competencies to successfully navigate the world.
What sets me apart is that I work in an amazing school district (Posen-Robbins SD 143.5) with my Superintendent (Dr. Anthony Edison) and building Principal (Dr. Monica Spence) who place an extreme importance on student social-emotional learning, student well being, teaching and curricular training. I have been supported in my work within the district and have always worked with an amazing, dedicated and student driven team of mental health practitioners (school counselors and school social workers and administrators) that are on the front lines of advocating for our student’s.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory would be visiting my maternal grandmother’s and grandfather’s home town of Isola, Mississippi in the summers growing up as a kid and teenager. I remember listening to the beautiful sounds of the country, smelling fresh grass, and spending time with family and connecting to the roots of where my lineage began in America.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: jhogue80
- Facebook: Jamie Hogue
- Twitter: @Jamie Hogue9