In honor of National Education Week (November 13th – 17th), we are excited to take this opportunity to feature the educators from our Head Start and Educational Services programs.

Leah Powell is being featured for her “teamwork, innovation, and excellence” in improving the education of children and youth throughout Chicagoland.

Learn more about Leah in this short interview:

How long have you been working with Ada S. McKinley?’
“1 year.”

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the growth in my students. For example, I remember meeting a senior last year who had a bit of an attitude with me when I would speak to her. Now we are the best of friends as I helped her to complete FAFSA and get her into Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.”

What makes you proud to work with Ada S. McKinley?
“I am impressed with all of the resources we provide for the community. I am proud to be a part of an organization that consistently changes the lives of Chicago citizens and beyond.”

What is something that you’ve learned while working as an educator?
“I learned that students are yearning for an adult to listen to them and care about their success.”

What is one piece of advice would you give to a person who is new to the education field?
“Be genuine in all that you do because students can spot out the real from the fake. Also treat students how you wanted adults to treat you when you were young.”

What is one fun fact about yourself?
“I have been hooked on all-inclusive resorts since 2020 and since then I have been to Cabo, Cancun, Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, and Jamaica!”