Pelham Civics Association Hosts Careers in Education Workshop


via Pelham Civics Association

The Pelham Civics Association’s virtual seminar gave students a unique chance to see into the field of education.

Charlotte Nanda, Staff Reporter, Junior

On March 10, the Pelham Civics Association hosted a Careers in Education Virtual Career Workshop via Zoom. In collaboration with the Junior League of Pelham, this event was led by four educators: Abby Balafas, Jeffrey Ginsburg, Farid Johnson, and Dr. Kimberly Riegel. The workshop allowed PMHS students to learn about a myriad of paths to careers in education, as well as follow the journey of the speakers as they discussed their paths taken to reach their current positions. 

Participants of this event were able to meet these four speakers and learn about their varied careers: Abby Balafas is the Director of Student Life at the Nightingale-Bamford School, Jeffrey Ginsburg is the CEO & Co-Founder of East Harlem Scholars Academies and the CEO of East Harlem Tutorial Program, Farid Johnson is the current Principal of Siwanoy Elementary School, and Dr. Kimberly Riegel is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Queensborough Community College. All four speakers came together to represent a wide range of careers in the education sector.

The speakers discussed their personal journeys through different careers in education, and why they believe pursuing education is such a rewarding career. The speakers noted that careers in education are unique to most careers, in that most of the work is done with children and adolescents. Some of the speakers pointed out that office jobs lack the social connection that is available in the classroom, drawing them to education.

Once each speaker was able to share their story, students had the option to discuss their interests in education. In the Zoom chat box, students explained which subjects they most enjoyed in school. Students also spoke about the aspects of education that interest them career-wise, and what led them to the panel. 

“A few years ago I decided that I wanted to become a high school art teacher and I’ve done so much since then to achieve that goal. I attended this event to hear what being a teacher is really like from a variety of education professionals. I loved the event and it made me even more confident in becoming an art teacher, ” junior Isabella Garcia said.

The four speakers talked about the value of working with youths and inspiring them to pursue careers they are interested in and passionate about. Speaker Jeffrey Ginsburg spoke about why it is important to him to participate in events such as this one. 

“Working in education is challenging but also extremely fulfilling. It’s the most important profession in the country, with a critical role in promoting a more equitable future. It was great to hear from Pelham students about all of the different things a career in education could mean to them and their community,” Ginsburg said.

The Pelham Civics Association will be hosting two more career workshops for students. Events on April 21 and May 12 are scheduled to discuss careers in rehabilitation and careers in digital communication.