Drum Major Award 2012 Recipient

Carl Ray

In 1967, San Jose educator, community activist, motivational speaker, author and former stand-up comic Carl Ray graduated from Tuskegee Institute with a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering. In 1968, Ray founded a Youth Opportunity Program in East Palo Alto, California. He began recruiting youth to attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in 1970; then in 1987 he began sponsoring tours to the universities. Ray continues to host bi-annual tours to HBCUs. To date, he has escorted more than 5,000 students on HBCU tours.

In 1988, Ray, established a non-profit organization, Courtland Esteem, Inc. and operated a private school in San Jose, California. For 15 years, the school educated young African American students in grades one through six.

Ray is active with the Youth Ministry at South Bay Community Church in Fremont, CA. He presents college preparation and motivational seminars to high school student throughout the Bay Area to inspire them to reach their maximum academic potential and enroll in college.

In addition to his community activities, Ray has written a soon to be released book and he tours the country performing a one-man play, "The Power of Forgiveness."