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WHY I’m PROUD to Be a PSRP

11/20/2012
In 2006, the third Wednesday of each November was declared "PSRP Day in Illinois" to recognize the more than 100,000 dedicated paraprofessionals and school related personnel, (PSRP) who provide essential services in classrooms, offices, cafeterias, school buses and more.

The following IFT PSRPs share personal stories about the jobs they do and the services they provide.

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I was a PSRP for 38 years in the Chicago Public Schools. I did it all. I was a classroom aide, I was a hallway monitor, I was a playground supervisor. I was there to help educate our children and keep them safe. I retired two years ago at age 83, and I continue to keep doing the things I love to do that I learned as a paraprofessional – helping kids and parents. At Shubert School more than 20 years ago, kids came to the PSRPs to tell us they were cold and hungry on winter days. So I made sure they got fed at school and started a “clothes closet” program for kids who didn’t have warm clothes and coats. Today I volunteer at homeless shelters and work for my church to collect coats to continue to make a difference for our community like I did every day as a PSRP. I was proud to be a PSRP, and proud to be in the union. I want young PSRPs to understand the importance of their work and their union. For 38 years, the union was there for me and still is. That’s why I’m there for the union.

Roberta Wilson
Retired PSRP
Lifetime Retiree Member
Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1

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My core belief is that education should be accessible to all, and I help make that happens. As a financial aid advisor, I help students gain access to higher education. The work I do is valuable to students, their parents, and the community at large. I’m proud of that.

Norberto Valentin
Financial Aid Advisor
Olive-Harvey College
Federation of College Clerical and Technical Personnel, Local 1708

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As a school bus driver I get to see students begin their day. I am often the first one there to hear and talk to them about their concerns for the day. The kids could not get to school without our buses, and more and more students are utilizing the transportation services we provide in the community. I am starting my twentieth year of driving, and I love the job I do.

Resa Luckey
Bus Driver/Trainer
Woodstock Community Unit School District 200
McHenry County Federation of Teachers, Local 1642 

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As a PSRP employee for the past 18 years,  I have been  given the opportunity  to help thousands of students reach their educational goals and graduate with an Associate’s Degree.  To me, the most rewarding part of this job is knowing I helped someone create a brighter future for themselves. Without individuals in PSRP positions helping students stay on track, offering advice, counseling them and holding their hand through the matriculation process, this end result would not be possible.

Christie Mercer
Student Services Coordinator
Southwestern Illinois College, Granite City Campus
SWIFT Local 6600

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“Every day I come to work I have opportunities to teach or be taught. I live for those light bulb moments when a student has made the connection academically, emotionally or socially.”

Roslynn Hunter
Classroom Assistant
Waukegan Public Schools
Waukegan Council, Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504

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“We take turns here working a station in the food emporium called "Showtime," where we sauté food to order for students, faculty and staff. We have very close contact the students, and it's nice to watch them grow and mature as they progress through school. We have quite a following at "Showtime," so we've gotten to know some of them from their first year as freshmen to the time they graduate. That is so rewarding.”


John (Jay) Chaplin

Food Service Worker
University of Illinois – Springfield
University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100

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Want to say THANKS to your favorite PSRP?

Visit Illinois Kids First to join IFT and Illinois Kids First in extending your appreciation to PSRPs  across Illinois for their commitment to excellence and dedication to those they serve by sending them a greeting card to thank them for their work.
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