WE’D LOVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU - TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOURSELF.
My name is Aaliyah Rainey. I was born, raised, and currently live in Newark, NJ (Brick City!!!). I am a proud graduate of Howard University with a degree in Communications. I coach high school girls basketball, love to travel (I have a yearly goal to visit 5 new places every year), and I have a podcast with two of my friends from middle and high school.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHOOSE A CAREER IN TEACHER RECRUITMENT? HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A RECRUITER?
Teacher recruitment found me. I’m not sure people grow up wanting to work in teacher recruitment (at least not yet!). I’m in my 8th year of teacher recruitment and I love it. It’s challenging but NEVER boring and it allows me to travel and meet new people.
WHAT is the most rewarding part of being a recruiter at relay?
It’s so hard to name just one but I’ll give my top two. I LOVE my team. We’re a funny and loving bunch and despite our work being challenging at times and urgent, we always find time to support and love on one another. I feel honored and lucky to be a part of this team.
My second would be seeing students’ excitement whom I recruited and cultivated be accepted into the program. That never ever gets old.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING TO BECOME A TEACHER?
I would suggest taking the time to find out your WHY and really grounding yourself in the WHY. Teaching is an absolutely rewarding job but it is probably one of the hardest jobs on the planet. When it gets hard or rough, go back and remind yourself of the WHY to help you keep pushing through those trials.
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING teachers of color IN THE CLASSROOM? WHAT TYPE OF IMPACT CAN THIS HAVE ON STUDENTS?
It was not until college that I really understood the importance of having teachers of color in the classroom. Growing up and being educated in Newark, most of my teachers were of color. I assumed it was the norm because it was my norm. When I got to Howard, a historically black university (HBCU), many of my classmates were excited and deliberately chose Howard so they could be in an academic environment where people who looked like them taught them because it was something they’ve never experienced. I purposely chose Howard for the same reason, but not because I was looking for that experience for the first time, but because I wanted to continue the experience that I was already having.