“When I think about how Martin Luther King made an impact on me, I think about when he said the American people wrote us a check and it bounced, and it continues to bounce,” Carter said. “We have devastating schools and devastating neighborhoods. There are people dropping out of school everyday; there are people killing each other everyday.”
Despite his commitment to helping his students, Carter briefly hit a wall this past November when a former student, who had become a friend, passed away. The young man, who had made progress through the Adonai program, fell back in with “the wrong crowd” and died while fleeing from police.
“It’s very emotional working with students because they depend on you. But it was a student who said to me, ‘if you quit on us, who else will be there,’” Carter said. “I’m not much older than they are. Essentially, our students will say, ‘you really get us; you really relate to us.’ I think that’s why they come back to us.”
In addition to his work with Adonai Center, Carter serves on the board of directors of Pittsburgh Community Services, the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing and Collegiate YMCA Oakland. He also previously served on the Umoja African Arts board of directors and is a current member of the Economic Club of Pittsburgh.