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As gratifying as the work is of strengthening the minds of America's youth
at times, teaching can be a demanding job.
And like many of us, teachers need help too.
Meet Ariqa, a spirited twenty-year old who has immersed herself into a
constant learning environment in dire need.
For the past several months, Ariqa has worked as a teacher's assistant
in Ms. Renee's first grade classroom, where Ms. Renee has discovered Ariqa's abilities
have developed into much more than simple help.
Any thing I need to have done in here whether its having the kids read to her or working on journals
A.R. testing or anything at all like that, Ariqa is there to help
She's really like having another teacher in here.
Ariqa's colleagues always expected that she would be able to
complete what would be asked of her from the start
But it is what she does past that and in the way that she does it
which allows others to see her true abilities and good nature on a daily basis.
Her demeanor and her dedication are the two things that come across really strong.
She has a...She is very pleasant and like I said, she is very dedicated to being here on time
Assisting Ms. Renee has been a learning experience for Ariqa.
And as she takes to good in with the bad she never loses her sense of optimism.
I love my job, of course.
Um, if there was anything else I would do, I would pick this one.
Sometimes it is very difficult to do but I manage to do it.
What Ariqa does in Ms. Renee's class goes beyond completing routine chores
Ariqa helps the young children develop a necessary life skill.
The ability to read.
That class, they're on the verge of independency in reading
so they're not quite fluent readers yet; so we have her to come in there and read with the kids.
and just familiarize themselves with different reading styles. That's kind of what her role is in there.
Besides completing her daily tasks, and helping children grasp a skill they will use
for the rest of their lives, working in the first grade classroom
has given Ariqa an unbreakable bond with the faces she sees everyday
and through it, she has found a new passion in life.
The most joy I have, the kids keep me going.
That's the most joy I have. The kids they keep me going
You know, they give me hugs and kisses
You know, things that I never knew they could do.
Ariqa has assumed several roles in her time in class.
But the most important responsibility she now has is being a role model
and dear friend to those around her.
My expectations initially were um, just to maybe have her help
out, she would kind of be standing on the sidelines.
Now she is like part of our family. So, she has really really integrated herself
into here and our classroom. Its so nice to have somebody in here
who not only can help me help the kids learn
but also help the kids and give them hugs and stuff like that.
And just make it a more familial, warm, atmosphere.
This project would not be possible without: