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8th Grade Science Teacher/8th Grade Science Course Lead/Instructional Coach at STRIVE Prep Montbello Campus

I teach to inspire. I have always loved Science! Playing in the dirt, discovering insects, and nursing sick animals made me a pretty interesting child. Ha! My passion for discovery grew as I grew and I try my best to bring that passion into my classroom. Science is literally EVERYTHING, and I want to build a strong academic base for my kiddos before they head off to high school. I have been in education for 15 years and I have loved every moment. I grew up in inner city Birmingham, Alabama in the Collegeville community which was riddled with violence, drugs, and poverty. I told myself when I was a child that if I made it out of there than my goal in life would be to help people. I was actually in Chiropractic school when I heard on the news that inner city Atlanta schools were in desperate need of teachers. I thought and prayed about it and made the decision to leave school to teach. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Teaching not only allows me the chance to help our youth grow academically, but to also build their self confidence. I tell my story and show pictures of where I grew up to my students at the beginning of the year so that they know my life has not always been what they see in front of them. I want them to understand that they can achieve anything they put their minds too because where you are now does not determine where you are going. I strive to be the role model that I didn’t have as a student.

Now more than ever, all children need to recognize their strength and beauty. They need to understand that they are capable of being as smart and educated as any group of people. I want my students to leave my class feeling empowered, brave, and prepared for the world. I do what I do because I want to change the world one child at a time.

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Akiya Estell Minniefield

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