College of Education students recognized for School District of Philadelphia Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Service

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, three College of Education students were recognized for their dedication to the School District of Philadelphia at the Superintendent's Award for Outstanding Service ceremony.

Erika Richardson, a junior studying Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Education is the second runner-up for the Superintendent’s Service Award.  Erika is currently doing fieldwork at Philip H. Sheridan Elementary School in Kensington. She loves the dimensionality of her students, “Right now, I am working with second graders. It’s great because they are ready for higher thinking but are still so innocent and loveable!”  Aside from Erika’s academic requirements, she has experience volunteering at JumpStart, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and working with Dragonfly Forest; leading her to establish Camp Kesem at Temple University.

Camp Kesem is a free summer camp for children whose parents have survived, are currently battling, or passed away from cancer. After successfully winning the voting campaign online, receiving grant money, and publicizing the free summer camp, Erika has over 100 Temple students interested in becoming involved with Camp Kesem.  Erika is excited to see Camp Kesem grow and flourish here at Temple University. 

Shakia Kirksey, first runner-up for the Superintendent’s Service Award, is pursing a Master’s of Education in Urban Education.  Shakia appreciates the Superintendent Service award for recognizing the hard work and dedication students invest into the School District of Philadelphia.  Studying urban education allows her to pursue both her passion for education and become involved in local programs, which bridge the gap between the classroom and community. 
As a member of the West Philadelphia Promise Corps, Shakia works as a College and Career Ambassador at West Philadelphia High School.  She supports and guides juniors and seniors with preparation for, entry into, and completion of a postsecondary education.  She also volunteers with the University of Pennsylvania’s Upward Bound Program, whose mission is to provide high school students with academic, career and cultural enrichment resources to help them not only graduate from high school but to also increase the rate at which low-income, first-generation college students matriculate and graduate from postsecondary institutions.
Shakia feels honored to have involvement in programs that seek and elicit potential from high school students, “I am humbled to be able to learn about the issues that plague urban schools in urban contexts, while simultaneously experiencing the greatness that lies within these same schools every day as I interact with students who appear to be from the same background, but yet have many different stories."
Emily Jordan, the Superintendent Award winner and a junior studying Secondary English Education interns under the principal of George Washington Carver High School, where she has learned everyday tasks ranging from grant writing and communicating with parents, to handling t-shirt sales. Emily loves both the strategical and personal aspects of the position, “I like seeing everyone in the school and getting to know them and what they do.” Outside of Emily’s class times and internship, she is involved with Let’s Get Ready, a free SAT preparation course designed to help low-income students become admitted to colleges.
At Let’s Get Ready, Emily spends her Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. by teaching and organizing 60 high school students with 10-15 coaches for every subject.  Becoming involved with Let’s Get Ready has become one of Emily’s most rewarding extracurricular activities here at Temple University, “Let’s Get Ready has made my whole Temple experience.” Emily feels honored to receive this prestigious award and looks forward to her future career with the Philadelphia public school system.

- Breanna Pegula