From mentors and experiences throughout his life, Darold Burgess has both received and been motivated to impart the importance of education, teaching and encouragement to his community.
At the young age of 17, he began working for the Board of Education. He dedicated 27 years to the Special Education department.
His life changed when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He spent three years on dialysis before he received a kidney transplant. These years changed his outlook, and crystallized his purpose in life. Afterwards, he returned to school to become a dialysis technician so he could encourage those going through what he just endured. Patients trusted Darold because not only did he completely understand their situation, he also embodied healing and the importance of not giving up.
Another important lesson Darold learned during this time is the importance of finding your purpose and self-identity. He and two others (Dennis Simmons and Anthony Taylor) began a youth mentorship group, Kids in Crossfire.
Currently, Darold is the Tenant Association President of the Ingersoll Houses (where he has lived for 54 years). Though he has always been involved, his current role allows him to make community connections on behalf of his residents, educate them, and be a vocal advocate for them.