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Freeman Hrabowski is president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), which has made an extraordinary name for itself educating students of all types in science and engineering. “What makes our story especially important,” says Hrabowski, “is that we have learned so much from students who are typically not at the top of the academic ladder.” And they have graduated a tremendous number who go on to PhDs and faculty positions at top universities.

Hrabowski himself participated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Children’s Crusade.” He marched and was arrested in support of his right to a good education. As he waited in the prison, at 12 years old, Dr. King came over and said to them, ”What you children do this day will impact children not yet born.” The lesson Hrabowski learned? “Children can be empowered to take ownership of their education.”

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