Tony Donaldson, Jr., 2011
Tony Donaldson, Jr. is a native Washingtonian, HUMS2 Alumni, community activist, and theatre artist. He attended Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)2, and graduated with honors in 2011. It was there that he learned and understood the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, as he was exposed to a rigorous academic program, and was recognized as the 2009 DC Young Scientist of the Year for his invention of the “Swiffer Shoe”. Tony went on to audition and enroll into the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC’s pre-professional training ground for young artists. It was there that he was able to train with young people who also shared a passion for the arts, and grow his knowledge in skills with a concentration in Theatre.
Ellington not only grew Tony’s interest in the arts, but also his interest in the Political Process. Because the level of training at Ellington teaches students that art is a political action and social responsibility, Tony was inspired to explore how art is relevant and influenced by the community that surrounded him, leading him to be able to gain internship opportunities at the John A. Wilson Building. He has also worked with Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and his successor, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D – Ward 1). As a result Tony Later, interned for Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs. Tony currently serves as a Chief Administrator for My Brother’s Keeper DC. An initiative led by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, to close the achievement gap by empowering men and boys of color. Recently elected to the DC Young Democrats Executive Committee.
As an HUMS2 Alumni Tony’s philosophy in life has always been: Get educated, get involved, get focused, then get change. He has held strong to the belief that education is the basic fundamental building block to training young people to be effective global citizens and agents of change. He encourages young people to use modern day tools and technologies to stay informed with what’s going on in their community (locally, nationally, and internationally) and be strong advocates for social justice. .
In 2016, Tony ran for the DC State Board of Education (At-Large), as the youngest and only African-American candidate. While he did not win the election, in his first political campaign, Tony managed to gain nearly 50,000 votes. Tony serves faithfully in ministry at his church, The Ark of Safety Christian Church (Upper Marlboro, MD), where he works diligently with the media and youth ministries and has had the opportunity to write and produce several original theatrical works. He is also credited for creating and hosting DC’s first fully teen produced internet radio program, Xtreme Teen Radio with TJ & Friends with WLVS Radio, which ran from Jan. 2013 – April 2015. He has gone on to study Political Science at Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia, and will graduate and receive his Bachelor’s Degree in 2019.