Alonya Knight

Alonya's objective is to complete her studies and achieve her lifetime goal of becoming an elementary school teacher and then an elementary school principal. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Alonya plans to apply to the DC Teaching Fellows Program where she will pursue her non-renewable 3-year teaching license allowing her to teach full time in the District of Columbia Public School System while simultaneously working to receive her Professional Teaching Certification. As the daughter of a crack addict for most of her childhood, Alonya has faced many obstacles in her life. She found the pursuit of an education to be emotionally draining and often dissatisfying. It was Alonya's love of books and reading that saved her life. Books were her companions, her comfort and her dearest friends. They "helped her temporarily escape her black existence." It was her love of reading that lead to her passions in life of teaching and literacy. She also had a haunting experience in her freshman year of junior high school that forever altered her perception of teaching that resulted in her desire to be an educator. She was offered extra credit by her music teacher (in front of the entire class) if she would soak in bleach over the weekend to see if it would lighten her skin. From that moment, Alonya developed a distrust of teachers and went from being an A & B student to being a D student. Alonya later became an abused and emotionally battered wife who believed her husband's constant taunt that she "would never amount to anything." Because of her own bad experiences Alonya wants to be the type of teacher she wishes she had. She wants to make a difference in the lives of children in her community, passing on her love of reading and her thirst for knowledge. In addition to her current volunteer activity of tutoring 2nd and 3rd graders in English and Mathematics, Alonya plans to volunteer her time as an adult literacy leader to encourage and help adults learn to read in Washington, DC (40% of the city's population can only read at a 3rd grade level).

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