CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Cambridge Rindge and Latin School history and psychology teacher Kevin Dua teaches and trains with one thing on his mind – his students.
“I come into my classroom every day for them. I want to celebrate who they are just like they should celebrate who they are on their own,” he told WBZ-TV.
Dua was selected to participate in the Boston Marathon from more than 1,600 applicants because of his passion, creativity and impact on his students.
“He just makes all of us an open book, basically,” said senior Victoria Angeles.
“Having him as male black teacher and me being able to connect as a black male as well is really a new, whole new process for me and I really appreciate that,” said senior Christopher Rodriguez.
Dua will now run with a team of 16 other educators from across the nation sponsored by Hyland.
On Marathon Monday Kevin will also run to highlight the representation of African-American male educators, which is the lowest demographic of teachers nationwide at just two-percent.
“We were all chosen to not only advocate for our love for running, but also our love for education with our students. To represent that on behalf of the less than two-percent of black educators in the country is why I am doing the Boston Marathon,” Dua said.
In fact he’s so passionate about his students’ success he also oversees the Black Student Union, a student-run organization where kids can feel safe to speak about current issues.
“To create a safe space for them to connect, to advocate, to feel empowered about their true identities as black and brown individuals, for me, I’m being able to play some role in supporting that,” Dua told WBZ.
His impact can be seen on his students faces as they smile and laugh in class.
“The biggest lesson is to be confident in myself and what I’ve been through. No other teacher has done that other than Dua,” Angeles said.
Last year, Kevin was named the Massachusetts History Teacher of The Year for his innovative and inspiring classroom initiatives. And he’s always challenging his students to be brave and courageous.
“Being able to participate in this race in an elite crew of educators from across the country and to honestly to represent the students who have played a huge role as to why I love what I do, I am 100-percent grateful and looking forward to this race,” Dua said.
His students will be cheering him on along the way.
“I think it’s a really great accomplishment,” Rodriguez said.
This will be Dua’s third marathon and second Boston Marathon.
“The one thing that separates Boston is the energy you get from the crowd. To have that community support regardless of your time or what you look like says a lot about what this race means to not only people in Boston , but people around the world.” Dua said.