That Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) helped solidify Darnell's desire to pursue academia. Since graduating from MAPSS, Darnell has served on the board of directors for the MAPSS Alumni Association and worked with several MAPSS students across multiple cohorts, some of which have successfully applied and matriculated into fully funded PhD programs in top universities across the country. That said, Darnell is an award winning speaker, educator, and businessman. A doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago, he serves as a founding member of Thrive Chicago’s & President Barack Obama’s My Brother's Keeper Alliance Action Team in Chicago, serves as a Young Scholar on The Journal of Negro Education Editorial/Advisory Board out of Howard University in Washington DC, and maybe most notably, Darnell is the founder and CEO of Black Boys Shine, a campaign to illuminate the character and contributions of Black boys and men nationally and internationally ( 

To learn more about Darnell and his work click here  and follow him on IG @therealdarnellleatherwood.