Bronx Teacher Creates Another Reality through STEAM Education

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francisca Harding .

It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?

As an immigrant to the US from the Dominican Republic as a child my grandparents always instilled in me that education was the most important part of our lives. That we never stop learning. At the age of 19 having my first child put my education dreams on hold. Since I had to drop out of college to help support my family getting my GED was the first educational milestone in my life and allowed me to begin my college education. I am proud four degree graduate from The City University of New York (CUNY) and I am eternally thankful to Bronx Community College for having a Early Child Education program that allowed me to be able to educate myself and my children at the same time. This is where my love of science and politics was instilled. A new mom, a Science major and participating in my student government taught me that giving a voice to voiceless community was important. Then I transferred to Lehman College where I absorb the mentorship of great educators and relit my purpose in education. I began my career as a science educator in The New York City Department of Education and moved on to The City College of NY where I received two Masters Degree. Now I am at NorthEastern University getting my Doctoral degree in Curriculum, Education, Teaching and Leadership and creating my own IB school. I want my students to understand that #community and #representation really matters. 🫶🏾

I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?

Becoming a single parent of two young human beings at the age of 19 was a huge struggle. I had been on my own since the age of 14 and I just completed my GED program at La Guardia Community College. It was getting evicted every month from my apartment. I had no education, and no job, but I had tech skills and a bartending license. So I did what every immigrant New Yorker does and l got two jobs; one training people to use Word, Excel and Javascript, and another bartending in Harlem at night. I was barely at home. After exhausting my days and nights on the train I was handed a flyer by a young person that talked about the invasion of Iraq. While I wasn’t political at all seeing a picture of a school troubled to pieces gave me interest in the organization. Fast forward to 2019, I was able to run for Mayor of the City of New York, a single mother of two children, a college student researching how heavy metals affect the brain. I cried so many tears at night, but I never gave up on my education. I had many hungry nights, many angry and selfless feelings but the love of my children and grandmother kept me going. She always told me keep studying, don’t end up like me, educate yourself.
Until the day that I take my last breath, I will always consider myself a lifelong learner.

Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?

I am the proud parent of three amazing humans; Justin and Jayna Falkowski and Julieanne Harding. Justin is a proud CUNY student and Jayna is a proud member of the St. John’s University community. Julieanne is a thriving special education student at P.S. 83 in The Bronx. I am a happy wife, I am married to an amazing human being Charles Harding. I am still a proud science educator in NYC. I am now the CEO and Founder of three unique organizations. Harding Media LLC we are a Professional STEAM consulting firm that specializes in trademark and brands of schools, organizations, political entities, and business. We use our earnings to fund Harding Hearts Foundation Inc., our 501c3 where we help young men from the ages of 17-27 find shelter, food, jobs, and education programs. Through the foundation, we created our specialty school BRAiNS Academy (Biology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Nano and Social Sciences) we aim to create the next generation of computer scientists. We believe that education should not be confined to spaces it should be available anytime, anywhere, everywhere. Learning shouldn’t feel like an abstract thing or a job, it should be fun and meaningful. We are still recruiting members to our board and continue to create and bridge partnerships with businesses, foundations, and government, private and public organizations. If interested please reach out to brains@hardingmedia.org

What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?

Education is the key to success. Never stop looking for opportunities to educate yourself and make connections with people. Get out of your comfort zone. Never allow anyone to take your identity. Darwin once said; “it’s not the fittest organism that survives, it’s the most adaptable.” Make sure you are adaptable to every and any community without relinquishing your identity. Be true to who you are.

Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?

Success to me means that you have been able to achieve your wildest dreams… my wildest dream is creating my school, BRAiNS Academy for my #communities.

What’s next for you?

What is next for us is building more bridges and creating educated communities. I am still in the process of creating and building our community of people that will be contributors to the mission and vision of our company. We want to help transform spaces into learning vessels that can be used by any members of all the communities of the world. We want to create wealthy communities through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and Mathematics).

Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?

To connect with us, you can visit our website: www.hardingmedia.org; or www.brainsacademy.org and keep in touch with us. If you’d like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with me please do so through www.calendly.com/franciscaharding I am honored for the opportunity to connect and serve in your communities. I am here to serve. 🫶🏾

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