Central Queens Academy Charter School, Queens, NY
This summer I had the opportunity to lay the foundation for elementary and middle school students who would be the first in their families to go to college. Created in 2012, Central Queens Academy serves students who live in the multiethnic, multilingual and working-class communities of Elmhurst, Corona and Woodside.
I benefited from the guidance of my elementary and middle school teachers and witnessed how education can really put young people on the path to realize their dreams. My friends and I are all from diverse backgrounds, and we felt that we belonged and were welcomed with open arms in our schools. We were shown how to realize our potential and capabilities and express our own individuality. I want this experience to be the case for younger generations especially for the scholars of Central Queens Academy.
The projects I completed over the summer gave me a better understanding of the work that is actually involved with this mission. I was able to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to run an organization, work under deadlines, and most importantly work with a team. The first assignment was a data project that will help teachers and school leaders keep track of student progress for their upcoming school year. Based on the database that I helped create, if a student is not doing well in a specific area or subject, the teachers will have a holistic picture to help resolve the issues. The student and teacher can then communicate more, as they develop their bond to help meet the student’s needs.
I also assisted in an inventory of school supplies; I never knew how important it is to know how many books and pencils there were in a school. I worked with a team to get the building ready for teachers and students to come in. Since the school is working with many immigrant and non-English speaking families, there was a lot of pressure to reassure students and families that they would not be left behind, especially after the tough times of the pandemic.
Through this internship, I gained knowledge and skills about how to run an organization effectively, and I also learned more about myself. I saw that sometimes it is important to come up to the plate and be a vocal leader, but at other times, it’s useful to step back and observe from a distance. This dynamic builds a stable and motivating working environment. I now want to see how effective teamwork, leadership, and communication functions in other types of organizations such as finance, as I am planning to major in economics.
I would like to conclude by thanking Ashish Kapadia, my supervisor at Central Queens Academy, for introducing me to the field of educational leadership and for being a wonderful mentor. I want to give my sincere thanks to my directors and colleagues for the time we spent together this summer. Without them, these memorable moments would not have happened.