We're excited to continue highlighting some of the newer staff members of our AchieveMpls team. Today we'd like to introduce Maliza Kalema, our new Career & College Center (CCC) coordinator at North Community High School, Maliza is a proud graduate of North and was so excited to return to her home school and support today's students.
Maliza works one-on-one with students to help them explore their career passions, find their best postsecondary options, complete the FAFSA, apply for financial aid, and connect with other resource as they prepare for life after high school. During COVID-19, she reaches out to students via video chats, email and other communications channels.
We asked Maliza to share some insights into her life as a young student, her favorite memories from school and what she enjoys about working at AchieveMpls:
When you were a young person, what's some good advice you received that shaped your life?
Stay ready. Keep striving regardless of what's going on around you. Mind your business and just keep going.
What is one of your best memories from school (K-12)?
I really enjoyed being a captain of the dance team in high school. Figuring out the logistics of performances, clothes, music and choreography - in addition to performing at North basketball games - are some of my biggest highlights.
Who was your favorite teacher or school-staff adult?
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Rasmussen. She taught AP Chemistry and had high expectations both for herself and her students. She gave us everything we needed and had no time for nonsense. She was a great teacher and I grew in my ability to be a true scholar and master class content.
What activities did you participate in during your high school years?
I participated in so much. I was the secretary of the student council and National Honor Society. I was a co-captain of the dance team, served on the yearbook team and worked with Admission Possible, now called College Possible. I also took PSEO classes at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (now Minneapolis College). I was really plugged into what was going on at school and was at every dance, pep fest and other school event.
If you could have lunch with any person, dead or living, who would it be?
I'd choose Mary Mcleod Bethune. It would be invaluable to learn from her experience as a lifelong educator and leader of Black women. I can't imagine the trials of starting Bethune Cookman College and initiating the National Negro Women's Council in her time.
What do you like most about working at AchieveMpls (so far)?
I love that AchieveMpls is action-oriented about directly supporting student outcomes. The work we do in schools is needed and so pivotally impactful for students and families.