I’m not happy we have 3,000 young people who are currently incarcerated. But I am happy to have the opportunity to expose them to a shift in thinking and love for learning. I'm devoted to my career of working with incarcerated youth. Although it's challenging, someone has to do the job. ~Tonya Threadgill
Tonya Threadgill is a 50-year-old mother of four. She is also the principal of Rikers Island's East River Academy. There, she teaches incarcerated students ages 16-21 who follow the same curriculum as other New York City students, according to WNYC, although the use of certain learning tools, like calculators and Internet access, is restricted. Currently, the school has a plan underway for financial entrepreneurship courses and social and emotional needs program development. The school held its largest graduation ever last year.
Recently, the Daily News announced that she had been nominated for the paper's prestigious Hometown Heroes award in education for turning prisoners into scholars. "It takes a really committed, devoted person to empathize and encourage [students] not to give up," she told the Daily News. Read more about the services she provides by clicking the pink (links.) Are you inspired by this story to do more where there's a need? If so, let us know by commenting below.