Javier Persad National Foundations Associate

When Javier was five years old, his family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey from Trinidad and Tobago, leaving behind everything and everyone they knew. Their new home proved to be a place of diversity and opportunity, where he was exposed to people, beliefs, cultures, and cuisines from all over the globe. Most of all, he was offered acceptance. These early experiences with inclusivity supplemented with parents in the business of service - a father who taught and a mother who was a caregiver - helped him understand and appreciate the value of a pluralistic society.

Naturally, this led him to education. After earning his master’s in education at Rutgers University, he went on to spend the next ten years in the classroom and taught English literature in three extremely different schools: Ferris High School in Jersey City, Colegio Americano in Quito, Ecuador, and McNair Academic High School, also in Jersey City. These disparate settings provided him with a precious perspective, which allowed him to approach pedagogy through a humanitarian lens, especially since he worked with populations surrounded by violence and poverty.

He realized he needed to do more by putting his words into practice, and be the change. E4E is just the place to do that.

"Teachers empower students by helping them discover the difference between what the world tells them to be versus who they really are and giving them the courage to be that person."