Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Member & Activist Spotlight

Power up Your Career with NEA's Aspiring Educators Program

From donation drives to leadership training, two aspiring educators share what you can achieve through NEA membership.
Ja’Deric Talbert Carlton Hamlin
Ja’Deric Talbert, Grambling State University, Louisiana

Ja’Deric Talbert, Grambling State University, Louisiana

(pictured above)

During my three years as a member of NEA’s Aspiring Ed (AE) program, I have traveled around the nation, helped plan a state conference, and participated in trainings that have made me a better educator and leader. I also participated in a minority leadership training program, where I traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn more about leading as an educator of color.

The Aspiring Ed program has ignited my passion for education, and I plan to obtain my master’s and doctorate so I can pursue a career in higher education. My achievements led me to be selected as the AE vice president for the Louisiana Association of Educators.

I also became president of Grambling State University’s Call Me MISTER program, which stands for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models and aims to increase the number of Black males in the education field.

The Aspiring Ed program provides me with resources and support to make sure I have the tools to be a better educator and that I’m protected as a teacher. The program gives up-and-coming educators the opportunity to grow and lead in their profession.

Izzy Lee, Clemson University, South Carolina

Izzy Lee
Izzy Lee

When I was a sophomore in college, I heard that a Clemson Aspiring Educators club was just getting started. I was the youngest member, working with a group of all seniors. Now I’m a senior, and I decided to step up as the club president. I’m proud to have been involved in building our AE group from the ground up, and it’s been so rewarding to watch it grow from 5 people to more than 50 members.

Our chapter’s top priority is giving back to the community and helping students. That’s why we organize donation drives to provide books and supplies to elementary schools that lack proper funding.

One of my goals is to continue being a voice for others and to help fellow members be heard. My leadership position has taught me how to support the other leaders in the club and to really listen to ideas from other members.

We all empower each other and lift up one another’s aspirations. This club has built a foundation and a community for future educators. That support is so important to help Aspiring Educators stick with their career goals—because in the end, becoming a teacher is worth it.

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.