A singer, actor, civil rights activist, lawyer, athlete, scholar, author,—Robeson was perhaps the best known and most widely respected black American of the 1930s and 1940s. As a young man, Robeson was virile, charismatic, eloquent, and powerful. He learned to speak more than 20 languages in order to break down the barriers of race and ignorance throughout the world, and yet, as Sterling Stuckey pointed out in the New York Times Book Review, for the last 25 years of his life his was "a great whisper and a greater silence in black America."

Message from the Founder

Welcome to the Paul Robeson College Readiness Program, formerly the Paul Robeson Academic International School of Excellence.


The PRAISE College Readiness Program (PCRP) is a program of Fusion Parnterships, Inc, in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins School of Education, that helps African-American Males in Baltimore to become competitive applicants to four-year colleges/universities.  


Today’s 21st century student must be equipped to maneuver through and ever changing landscape in today’s society.  Therefore, our committed staff seeks to develop an educational path and learning model for every individual student.  In the words of Paul Robeson; we must be “loyal to our convictions”.


It is our mission to nurture, educate, and advance young men who are civic-minded, critical thinkers, skillful problem solvers and of exemplary character.  Our goal is to maintain the international scope and breadth that accompanies the monumental legacy of our Academy’s namesake.  


We believe that the way to empowering our students to excellence is to strengthen our general community and improve the family systems approach to education.  We also commit to exposing our family system to a broad curriculum of academia and cultural activities.  


With this is mind, we have developed a comprehensive program that provides social supports that extend from school to community, which effectively address the negative behaviors that arise as a result of dire family and community conditions.


Students and parents, I encourage you to apply to our challenging program and make a wholesale investment in your future.


Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields

Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields

Our Philosophy

We believe that education is primarily directed toward the child's mind. While socialization and vocational training certainly merit consideration in their own right, these are not the proper objectives of the academy. 

We believe the life of the mind is sustained on ideas and is best nourished by reading books of literary quality and, to the extent possible, reading primary documents in history. 


We believe that the academic education of children means teaching them about their relationship to humanity and the natural world. Children need to know about the history of the human race, as it makes them wiser for all time. In addition, children need to know about the natural universe they inhabit and the laws which govern it. 


We, therefore, believe that literature, language, history, and math provide the foundation of academics. 


We believe that children are spiritual beings in need of moral and ethical instruction. We believe that parents/guardians bear the primary responsibility for imparting a world view to their own children which must include moral and ethical instruction. 


Our History

We see a world where African American males will receive an adequate education, despite their race, handicaps, shortcomings, or financial status. We believe, if given the proper tools and nurturing environment from caring adults, our boys will succeed.  We believe parents/guardians are the first teachers and serve as an educational coach for the development of the child. When given proper support, and necessary tools, they too will become great teachers.



The mission of the PRAISE College Readiness Program is to nurture, educate, and graduate young men who are civic-minded, critical thinkers, skillful problem solvers and of exemplary character.  Through a Saturday school setting, our scholars college bound, family and community leaders; concerned for the rights and welfare of others, socially responsible, confident in their capacity to make a difference, and ready to contribute personally to civic and political action. In addition, our goal is to maintain the highest level of academic excellence as a community in order to prepare every student to become life-long learners as well as productive citizens.