Recently, Civic Engagement caught up with Georgia State alumni, Shekema Silveri. Shekema received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters of Secondary English Education from Georgia State University.
During her time at Georgia State, Shekema served the community through multiple positions with local non-profits and as a graduate assistant in the Civic Engagement department (formerly known as the Office of Community Service). Shekema was first introduced to Civic Engagement when Lovell Lemons was recommended as a potential sponsor for her student organization. The organization was the student-led component of Shekema’s Atlanta non-profit. For several years, Shekema worked alongside Civic Engagement to implement several original service learning initiatives such as the premiere event Summer Solutions Expo. Summer Solutions Expo was a daylong internship, summer employment, and summer camp expo for Georgia State Univeristy’s students, faculty, and staff. This event brought many of Atlanta’s premiere volunteer service organizations together under one roof for an exciting day of networking, collaboration, and celebration. Shekema also worked with Civic Engagement to coordinate an annual Winter Gala (featuring live entertainment and a silent art auction), the Shoebox Ministry (a toiletry drive for homeless teens in partnership with the Tucker Women’s Club), and a free after school program for pre-teen and teenage girls.
Since her time at Georgia State, Shekema has been repeatedly recognized for her continuing investment in her students and in the community. In 2011, Shekema was one of forty K-12 educators nationwide to receive a Milken Educator Award. Shekema is also a published author and has been featured on CNN’s Perry’s Principles, NBC’s Education Nation Teacher Town Hall Atlanta, and America Achieves. However, she would be the first to tell you that her greatest reward is being a Mama to the hundreds of students she has taught and mentored over the years. Shekema looks forward to the calls and emails that she receives – sometimes on a daily basis – from her beloved former students.
Today, you can find Shekema serving as the founder, principal, administrator and a teacher at the IFE Academy of Teaching & Technology. Her vision for IFE is to provide a competency-based, personalized, blended learning environment where students learn to resolve society’s most pressing problems through harnessing the power of teaching and technology. The curriculum carried out through balanced student to teacher ratios, project-based learning and service education.
Shekema serves as the as the Secondary Section Steering Committee Chair for the thirty thousand constituent members of National Council of Teachers of English. Her days are filled with teaching, curriculum planning, administration, volunteering, and investing in her students and colleagues. Shekema is the mother to four beautiful children and continues to lead by example and inspire others on a daily basis.