Stacey's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Full Circle

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Philadelphia, PA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 11

STACEY CRUISE

CEO
American Paradigm Schools

“A piece of your life's work has to be to help other people. In every profession, you can find that-a way that you're doing something to make someone else's life better-because, in the long run, that's what it's all about anyway.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Failure Fear Goals Opportunity Passion Success Community Values Negativity

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

TAGS:

caring, college, connection, friend, happiness, happy, helping others, high school, historically black college or university, learning, life's work, make a difference, Massachusetts, money, prison, safety, school, security, strict, teacher

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When she was in high school, she realized she needed to be a teacher, because she'd never felt a connection to any of her own teachers.
  • In her high school class of 1,000 students, she was one of about 20 black students.
  • When it was time to choose a college, she gravitated towards historically black schools, eventually choosing Spelman College.
  • She loved college, and she felt more connected than she did in high school, but she still didn't find a teacher she liked.
  • Realized that what was missing from each school was teachers who actually took the time to get to know their students.
  • Identified two things that had to change at the schools she works with: the buildings had to be safer, but they had to refrain from feeling like prisons.
  • When students came to their new schools and saw how bright and hopeful the buildings were, it lifted their spirits.
  • Says although she's not there to be the students' friend, no matter how strict she gets, she lets the students know that she deeply cares about them.

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