Miriam Reed Educator, Mentor

Growing up in a household in Trenton where education and learning was cherished, Miriam naturally became an educator in her adult life. Her mother was an educator of forty years, motivated by her own mother — Miriam’s grandmother — who wanted to be a poet, but only received an education up to eighth grade. After traveling to go to college where she gained experience tutoring and helping with summer camps, Miriam moved back to Trenton in 2011. Although she had originally wanted to be a college professor, at the suggestion of a friend she began working as a substitute teacher in Trenton schools — and fell in love with it instantly. At her first job at Trenton High School, the students surprised her with how much they taught her about self-esteem, being outspoken and creative, and embracing one’s natural self. Trenton embraced her as a family, with the kids looking out for her wellbeing even outside of the classroom. She believes she achieved that level of trust by being genuine with how she related to her students.

From growing up in the city, she knows Trenton’s issues and concluded, “If I can affect one person’s life, then I know that I am on the right path. My purpose is to be a vessel for the kids to see and understand that success, happiness and prosperity is all within reach.” This has carried her through the hardest days at school. She would love to witness a revival of pride in being a Trentonian student, a gratification that she has seen diminish since 2008. She sees the incredible potential and talents of Trenton’s youth, and hopes they receive the resources that will help them grow and thrive.

Photographed by Abbas Wiswall in the Chambersburg neighborhood.

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