Since graduating from Princeton, I am now working full time on HomeWorks Trenton, a non-profit that I started when I was a sophomore here in college. HomeWorks Trenton is a community based after-school boarding program that provides academic and social-emotional enrichment to supplement public schools, empower women and build community leaders. I can't pinpoint exactly to what drives me, but I do wake up every single day excited and grateful to do the work I am doing.
Teacher Prep has changed me as a sister, friend, non-profit leader and how I see the world. Professionally, I have learned how reflection can be a powerful tool to push me to be better in my practice. I have used backwards planning in my board meetings. Personally, I have been challenged to think more deeply about race relations, and re-think my own identity as an Asian and Asian American woman. I have learned more about empathy and am using it to navigate my relationships. I am beyond grateful for my students, teachers and mentors who challenged, supported and encouraged me throughout this amazing experience.
One of my favourite moments in Teacher Prep was lunch period every day, where a few of my students would come to the classroom to eat lunch and talk. Sometimes we would talk about a new music video and relate it to race relations and our society today. Other times we would talk about family or challenges that they were facing that week. Lunch was a time for me to better understand my students outside the classroom.
Another of my favourite moments was watching my students perform the poems that they had written that day. The class huddled around the front of the classroom, gave the student performing their undivided attention, and snapped and cheered after they had finished reading their poem. It was incredible to see how supportive the class was of every student that day.