Nakia T. Ngwala is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Maryland. She is a public-interest consultant for education and organizational change. She also writes newspaper articles, volunteers in the classroom and on class trips, negotiates business-school partnerships, and continues to advocate for universal prekindergarten in Maryland public schools. Nakia resides in Springdale, Maryland with her husband and their two sons.
What book is currently on your nightstand? Bella Abzug.
One thing that is going great in education in your state: This year in 2012 Maryland public schools ranked #1 in the nation for the fourth year in a row.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: That children would have the option of going to public prekindergarten regardless of their socio-economic background
Your favorite teacher (and why): My high school Russian teacher Ms. Julia Steimel. Ms. Steimel was my Russian teacher at Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland. I remember Ms. Steimel because whenever you came into her classroom she was always pleasant and gave you a smile. She was one of those teachers who did not teach behind the desk, showed enthusiasm in what she was teaching and cared about her students. I remember her taking us out of the classroom and taking us on field trips that exposed us to the language and the culture of Russian people. Ms. Steimel not only exposed us to another language, she exposed us to another side of the world! And as a result of her great teaching, I decided to study Russian in college and now I have a degree in Russian Language and Literature.
Secret indulgence: Warm homemade apple pie a la mode.
Your hero: President Barack Obama.
Favorite quote: "Unless you know the road you've come down, you cannot know where you are going." - Temne proverb, Sierra Leone
Biggest wish for your kids: To be happy, spiritually at peace, successful, well-rounded individuals and financially independent.
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): My most rewarding stage of parenthood so far is seeing my 8 year old and 5 year old boys grow up before my eyes. They went from being babies who couldn’t talk and walk to becoming active boys who are now running (that’s right, they skipped walking!), inquisitive, having opinions of their own, playing with friends, learning so much from what my husband and I have taught them since birth and from what school has taught them, being helpful around the house, and giving me all the hugs, kisses, and love in the world.
Favorite family activities: Going out to dinner, visiting museums, vacationing at the beach and having family movie nights at home in the living room.