Rukiya Alexander is Associate Director of Programming at Our Next Generation Inc., an organization providing programs that support and monitor young students.
She started there six years ago as an educational coordinator, and explains that the Our Next Generation focuses on academic engagement and development. There are different groups responsible for reading and writing improvement, preparation for high school and college, and career exploration at her organization.
When asked about the barriers of working in Washington Park, she explains that people in this neighborhood need to know more about the program and what it offers to the community. Safety issues are also another barrier. Families are not always comfortable with having their children out at night. In order to deal with these issues, Our Next Generation is continually working together with Washington Park Partners and the Urban Ecology Center.
Rukiya proudly talks about success stories of students from the programs. It is common that students volunteer their time to help others. Students are often grateful for the education and opportunities they receive and they find a way to return the support. Our Next Generation welcomes children from diverse religions, races, and cultures. The Our Next Generaion campus is a second home for many children and young adults, and their inclusive, open-door policy is proof of that.
Rukiya Alexander, interview by Phyllis Reske, June 2014.
Rukiya Alexander describes work at Our Next Generation