UT-Dallas' African American academic bowl aims to motivate boys to stay in school

The winning middle school team, from left: Caden Bedford-Crandell, Cedron Webb and Josiah Hartman | University of Texas Dallas
Young men in grades 4 through 8 tested their knowledge in the seventh annual African American Male Academic Bowl at the University of Texas Dallas earlier this month.

The tournament featured 41 three-member teams made up of participants from schools and organizations throughout North Texas.

The middle school division championship went to 7th graders Caden Bedford-Crandell, Josiah Hartman and Cedron Webb, who achieved the highest scores each round. The elementary award went to Townsell Elementary School in Irving, Texas.

Each winning team member received a laptop, and runners-up received computer tablets.

Guest speakers included Hobson Wildenthal, UT Dallas' interim president  and Joe May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCC).

The university, the DCCC, Project Still I Rise Inc., AT&T, McDonalds, and state Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) partnered and hosted the event, which was created to counter the high dropout rate among African-American males. 

“We want to make sure these boys have some form of resource that is showing them that yes, you can succeed in education, that it’s OK to learn and it’s not OK to drop out,” David Robinson Jr., the bowl’s founder and assistant director of community engagement in UT-Dallas' Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, said

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