Former Gang Member Becomes Teacher of the Year

Man turns his life around and becomes an inspiration for others.

P.E. teacher Darrion Cockrell at Crestwood Elementary in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, was recently named the state's Teacher of the Year. He inspires many not only because of his achievements but because of his past as well.


"I was born to a drug-addicted mother who had two of her six kids by the age of 16. My father was murdered when I was 4, and I began my journey in and out of the foster care system not long after my 6th birthday," he shared.


He also used to be a part of a gang but two P.E. teachers changed his life. They showed him a world that fascinated and humbled him. Mr. DC, as he's become known, is also grateful to a worker at a boys home, named Ken, who taught him that being tough is OK but it’s OK to be compassionate at the same time.


“I had a lot of challenges and a lot of hurdles, and if it were not for those educators who helped me along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Mr DC explained.

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