I always had a passion for advocacy, solidarity, unionism, and social and racial justice issues, and NEA’s Aspiring Ed Program has given me the space to not only become a better educator, but the confidence as a leader to use my voice in a more meaningful way.
It’s incredible the cascade of opportunities that are available on the national, state, and local levels to do meaningful work within education and for the communities in which we live and serve. For me, the professional development I’ve received has been of great value. I’ve gotten a deeper understanding of the issues impacting public education. I’ve learned about who my students actually are, what their lives are like, and how to best serve them while also learning how to dismantle the things that will work against them.
I’ve worked on issues that I’m passionate about, such as social and racial justice. I’ve been able to recruit, retain, and empower more students of color in education for the state of Kentucky, and I’ve been able to partner with my local education department’s equity office to host a conference for aspiring educators of color in college and high school, to create a network and a direct flow of these students into education.
Kentucky was a part of the #RedForEd movement last year. We organized, protested, and marched the capitol. We then campaigned and worked to elect leaders who are today prioritizing public education. Being involved in this movement with the union’s collective mission, voice, and energy translates into real change that gives our students what they deserve.
Many aspiring educators deeply understand that this union is directly impacting the lives of our future students and it is why we’re so committed to it.