Cbma 2018 Bbclf Jholly Jr Headshot James Holly Jr

James Holly, Jr.


Urban Missionary, Educator, and Youth Development Specialist, Think 2 Score

“I choose to identify with the underprivileged. I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life for the hungry.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The Good Samaritan,” 1966

Urban missionary, educator, and youth development specialist James Holly, Jr. is a native Detroiter currently completing his doctoral studies in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. James has earned a B.S. from Tuskegee University, and a M.S. from Michigan State University, both in Mechanical Engineering. He pursued a doctoral degree as an intentional career pathway transition into full-time youth development, hoping to study how to leverage research and scholarship for the benefit of in/formal educators in urban settings. 

James has spent the last 11 years pursuing “higher education,” learning what it means to be a scholar, and contemplating how to leverage his gained competencies and experiences for the wholistic enrichment of black and urban youth. His personal mission is to invest in the prosperity of black and urban youth, by helping young people develop their physical, mental, and spiritual capacities so that they may become mature individuals and active members of society. With a keen awareness of the debilitating effect of systemic racism on the lives of black Americans, James advances his mission through designing educational experiences that stimulate young people’s intellectual growth, cultural competence, and sociopolitical consciousness (i.e., culturally relevant pedagogy). 

The quote by Rev. King placed above articulates the way James sees community service, and dictates the context in which he locates his mission. As a youth, he was nurtured by his mother and church fellowship, nowadays his support network has grown to include his cherished wife and two-feet tall, 15-month old mini-boss that gives orders in a language he doesn’t yet understand. You can follow James’ musings at https://think2score.wordpress.com/.