An immigrant from Sierra Leone, Habib has first-hand experience with the challenges confronting many students of color. Due to Habib’s recent immigrant status, his 9th Grade Counselor assumed the “Gifted” recommendation on his 8th-grade transcripts were a clerical error and placed him in the Learning Disabled track. It took several months for the school to admit its “mistake,” leaving Habib hurt and disengaged and resulting in a 1.7 GPA in his first two years of high school.
Through his mother’s determination and dedicated support and advocacy of a committed teacher, Habib rediscovered his academic joy. He went on to earn degrees from George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard Graduate School of Education and dedicate his career to providing all students and particularly students of color with access to responsive, equitable school systems that recognize and tap their potential.
Prior to joining Stand for Children, Habib led the implementation of a school turnaround effort that improved 4-year graduation rates by 18% and reduced chronic absenteeism by 22% at one of New York City’s most challenged public high schools.
With Stand, Habib has helped expand the Stand-CHSS 9th Grade Success Network to more than 100 high schools serving forty thousand 9th graders in 50 school districts across four states. Habib launched and directs Stand-CHSS’ 9th Grade Success partnership in Memphis, Tennessee, where our thirteen partner high schools achieved an 18 percentage point average gain in 9th Grade On-Track rates in the 2018-2019 school year, their first year of implementation.