On Saturday, April 14, 2018 I had the most enjoyable time visiting the children who attend HEAF, the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. Through an invite through the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York City, I was able to donate about five hours of my time towards working with children in grades six through ten. For this particular session, which was held at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, I had the chance to participate in Career Day. There, I was grouped with other professionals from various fields.
We had the chance to move from room to room and speak to the students about what we do and how we got to where we are today. Most of the questions that the students had were related to our careers and education. I used the time to explain how I moved my career from a teacher to an assistant principal who is now on the prowl for a position as a principal. We also had the chance to speak about our hobbies. You can bet I spoke about my experiences as an amateur astronomer, recreational hockey player, and part time author. The participants’ jaws dropped when I showed them images of the heavens. While we did answer questions and give advice, we also had a good time guiding others. The conversations continued through lunch as students approached me with questions and further conversation. Amazing – not even the pizza on their plates could stop them from talking!
Many thanks to Peter Tagatac and AAA.org for letting me know about this event. I hope to do it again next year.
Thomas A. Evangelist is the Assistant Principal of the Physical Sciences Department at Brooklyn Technical High School. Feel free to contact him at TEvange@Schools.NYC.Gov.