Patriece grew up the oldest of 4 children and the first in her family to pursue higher education, her mother doing her best to financially support Patriece’s dreams of graduating college, but, as a single parent among the working class, there wasn’t enough income to continuously pay tuition and take care of her siblings. In 2004 Patriece headed off to college filled with excitement and high expectations. Unfortunately, the financial burden of tuition forced Patriece to end her college career in 2006, facing a large amount of college debt. Although this came as a huge disappointment to Patriece, she knew she would never give up on her dream of becoming a successful college graduate. After working past her college debt from Fordham University, Patriece was able to enroll in City College of New York. In 2010 Patriece began working in early childhood education, primarily serving African American and Latin students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. As an educator, Patriece witnessed the inequalities these children face, the institutional racism that exists within our educational system and the biases educators and administrators have towards these children. These injustices have influenced Patriece’s career goals and motivated her to end the miseducation of children of color. Becoming an educator and providing students with access to a quality education, are at the core of Patriece’s goals. With the help of the Education Fund, Patriece will continue to grow and expand her skills as an educator by pursuing her masters degree in educational leadership, without facing the financial burdens that arise in higher education.

“Taking on a leadership position within the educational system will allow me to be a part of creating a more equal and equitable educational system for whom the system was not designed, namely black and brown students.” – Patriece Spann