Elizabeth Rivera has been teaching for 17 years at the Lorge School, a UFT-represented nonpublic, year-round school where teachers are represented by the UFT. The school serves students ages 5-21 who are diagnosed with learning disabilities, emotional disturbances or other health impairments.
As a paraprofessional in the Vision Education Services Chapter, which serves about 900 blind and visually impaired students citywide, Lucio Medina acts as a guide and advocate for the students he supports.
A member of the UFT's Teachers Assigned Chapter, Lindsey “Desi” Desmond provides targeted support to teachers and administrators who work with the city’s youngest students.
Michael Buitrago, an ELA teacher at Flushing HS, helps organize events and activities for students to promote school spirit. "I truly believe that a large part of the high school experience is being able to look at your school like a second home," he says.
Madeline Velez-Vazquez, a bilingual school counselor at PS 58 in the Bronx, says school counselors are needed “now more than ever to help students succeed.” She says, "I’m seeing both extremes: children who are more hypervigilant about the pandemic and then those who are completely aloof."