Ray spent 5 years of his childhood in Chicago, IL, 5 years in Madison, WI, and 8 years in Denver, CO. He grew up in Park Hill and graduated from East High School in 2015. While at East, he was a member of Project Greer Street, an academic enrichment and college access program for black boys. Through the support of Project Greer Street, Ray participated in summer enrichment and leadership development programs such as the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS) at the University of Michigan @ Ann Arbor and the Bezos Scholars Program @ the Aspen Institute. The program also supported him in applying to college and for scholarships, including the Ron Brown Scholar Program and the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, a full merit scholarship to Duke University.
Ray earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke in 2019. He also took courses in Education, African & African American Studies, Urban Studies, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Business, and Computer Science. He studied for a semester at the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill and studied abroad for a semester in New York, Brazil, South Africa, and India.
Outside of class, he taught 9th grade English at the Sunflower County Freedom Project in Sunflower, MS, returned as a Data Analyst and Teacher Coach, and was an 8th grade After School Instructor at StudentU in Durham, NC. He was also a Hilliard P. Jenkins Fellow at Frontline Solutions and an Accelerate Fellow at Teach for America.
His passion for education, particularly for boys and young men of color, rooted in his own experiences in Project Greet Street and his work with students in college, drove him to pursue his career as an educator. Ray currently teaches middle school math at Grizzlies Prep, an all-boys charter school in Memphis, TN.