Diamond Malone was in her first year of teaching when she realized there was a lack of time and resources to support her students. A few years ago, she began drafting an idea for a non-profit that would fill that gap and this year, Renaissance Kids, Incorporated, became a reality. Malone hopes the intervention efforts of Renaissance Kids, Inc. will help reduce the discrepancy in student achievement.

“My desire is for nothing to stand in the way of the self-efficacy of any RenKid,” she said. “The environment of Renaissance Kids will provide the social capital needed to support, encourage, and involve adults necessary to facilitate Renaissance Kids’ success.”

Malone is now in her fourth year teaching fourth grade at Crooked Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis. As she reflected back on her time at the School of Education, she noted how helpful it was being exposed to a variety of teaching styles.

“I appreciate that the School of Education immersed me into the classroom right away during my various practicums. It is one thing to learn the content in class, but I believe the real learning takes place during the practicums,” she said.

Malone advises current students to be open-minded and seize any oppor-tunity to work with children that they can.

“Teaching is not for the faint of heart,” she said. “It is challenging, but see this challenge as an opportunity to grow. It is always worth it. We do this job, because we are passionate about children and helping them become successful and well-rounded citizens. We are superheroes.”