“Juceliz, Her Majesty”
Perhaps I took creative license in asking–and shouldn’t have. After all, there are journalistic standards to uphold. But it’s Pamper-Her-Friday, a day of distinction like none other in the world. And she’s like none other in the universe. Her name is Juceliz Akilah Batista. Take note.
Do you have a Valentine?
Imagine how floored was I when she answered in the negative. By choice, I thought to myself, that’s gotta be by her choosing. Or is it that she just hadn’t yet been discovered. Georgia’s been harboring a jewel. A hidden gem in the form of a world-class educator. Take note.
“My belief is that education is our golden ticket to opportunity,” says the Syracuse University alum and now public school Language Arts educator in metro Atlanta. “When you take advantage of your opportunity or when someone else pushes you to do so, you then reap endless opportunities.” Ms. Batista speaks from experience.
The New York City native, whose Economics and Policy Studies background has ideally prepared her for the 21st-Century knowledge-based, from-the-neck-up economy, means business when she teaches–with an infusion of compassion, love, and cultural consciousness.
Juceliz co-developed, with fellow alum Darius Smith, “Shadow Day” at Syracuse: A campus event in which local-area students with college aspirations are invited to “shadow” a college student for a day, providing first-hand, real-world insight to college life from the college student’s perspective. “We created the program to inspire tomorrow’s youth, which also explains my chosen career path as an educator,” she adds.
While at Syracuse, Juceliz made each moment count, holding positions on the University Judicial Board, the Student Executive Board of HEOP, and the Full Circle Mentoring Program. She also was the Collegiate Branch President of Malik Melodies Sisterhood, Inc., through which she found innovative ways to spread cultural awareness and engaged in both civic and social responsibilities.
On what inspired her to enter the classroom, Ms. Batista shares, “The endless opportunities I gained as a student, especially in high school. My teachers pushed me and if not for them, I would never have made it to where I am.”
When asked to share something random about her, something few if anyone knows about the serious educator who means business, Batista enlightened: “I dream of having a Nas (the conscious rap impresario) theme classroom . . . I want his lyrics plastered all over my walls, along with other hip-hop artists with profound lyrics. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned were from hip-hop.”
Note duly taken.
It’s my pleasure to honor you, Juceliz, as this Pamper-Her-Friday’s and Valentine’s Day ‘Pamperee.’ Educators are arguably our most precious resource. And that’s exactly what you are.
Connect with Juceliz at: https://www.facebook.com/jucey. Via Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/juceliz-batista/31/a89/9a3. And follow her on twitter: @jjucey
“I want to be that inspiration for students who share a similar background to me.” -Juceliz Akilah Batista
© 2014 Pamper-Her-Friday by Rg2®