As a child, I knew I wanted to become a part of something big that would impact others in a lasting way. During the second semester of my freshman year, I joined Northern Arizona University’s Aspiring Educators group and found my path toward this goal.
Sitting in my first union meeting, educators in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona were taking to the streets demanding more funding for educators, students, counselors, and resources.
I watched the #RedforEd movement come alive as educators mobilized to fight for their students, communities, and themselves.
I shared this passion and realized the student chapter was the place for me.
In 2018, Arizona voters had to decide on whether to expand unaccountable vouchers through a proposition. Our aspiring educators took action and helped voters understand how these vouchers would undermine public schools and student opportunity.
Our efforts paid off and the proposition was defeated.
Over the summer, our aspiring educators worked to ensure the safe and just return to in-person instruction.
We partnered with the Flagstaff Education Association to share our concerns and to ensure our voice was heard. We flooded the school board meeting with messages and ultimately the board voted to delay in-person instruction until it was safe.
Our aspiring educators worked with AEA to pass Proposition 208, which helps fund Arizona public schools.
The proposition passed in November and its passage reinforced the importance of the four core values of the NEA Aspiring Educators program: community outreach, political action, social justice, and educator quality.
These values are woven together and help guide my work as an aspiring educator and future union leader.