Meet Kiana, Fellow since 2008.

I had a relatively short career before becoming a Fellow. When I graduated from college, I spent a year working as a medical assistant but didn’t find that job fulfilling.  After that, I joined City Year AmeriCorps where I was able to I work with kids. I really love the sciences, and I enjoyed teaching what I love. So I geared up for the NYC Teaching Fellows application process and moved ahead.


The kids are what keep me inspired to teach. All of the students I work with in my school are minorities—mostly black and Latino. Most qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch, and about 20 percent of students are in shelters or between homes.  But I have high expectations for my students.


As I continue my career in teaching, I hope to ensure that chemistry is taken seriously in our school. Before I came to the school, few, if any, students were taking the chemistry Regents exam. Today, I am working to build a strong curriculum that I can use again and share with others, and my students take the chemistry Regents exam as a routine.  To better prepare them, I help them design their own labs and take on more advanced assignments. They are motivated to do their best. They see how much I love chemistry, and they are getting really involved.


I love my job because both the kids and the school environment are great. The main idea behind the school’s culture is that we—the staff and the students—are a family.  My students call me by my first name, and they never disrespect me. My principal has been very accommodating and helpful. He made sure I had both an unofficial mentor and formal mentor available, which made me feel very supported.