NEW YORK (PIX11) — A local program is working to bring more men of color to teach students in New York City classrooms.

The partnership between the City University of New York, City Hall, and the Department of Education to increase the number of men of color teaching is already making a difference in children’s lives.

Angel Bautista from the Bronx said he’s on a mission every day to help each student in his 6th grade class be their best.  Bautista, originally from the Dominican Republic, knows how hard it can be to thrive in a new culture while dealing with a new language and making new friends. 

Bautista arrived in New York City at the age of 12. It’s been a full circle moment for him to work as a teacher for kids with similar stories. His biggest fans are his students.

The Bronx teacher is fluent in Spanish, and most of the students he teaches are Spanish speakers from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Bautista is just one of the many educators coming out of NYC Men Teach initiative, a program started in 2015 called. The collaborative effort from CUNY, the DOE and City Hall is making a difference in representation in the classroom.

The program has made a big impact in the years since it launched, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodriguez said.

“Back in 2015, just 7% of NYC public schools had men of color teaching. By 2022, we are at 17%. That’s a 10% increase in five years,” he said.

Bautista said he hopes he’s sending a powerful message to his students.  If he can do it., they can do it. too. He is also a finalist for the NY Men’s Teach Role Model of the Year Award. 

If you want more information, click here.