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Tannika Moore is excited to help students on their path toward success beyond high school.
“I didn’t initially see myself teaching kids in this capacity, but I am so grateful that I get a chance to do so,” she said. “It’s so rewarding.”
Moore teaches students how to become academically prepared for success in their future careers and educational pursuits in her role as project coordinator at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for College Access and Success (CCAS).
She works with first-generation and low-income high school students through Educational Talent Search. This initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, focuses on increasing the number of first-generation, low-income youth who complete high school, enroll in post-secondary education and earn degrees.
Moore, 34, knows firsthand what the program can do. While attending King College Prep High School, she participated in Talent Search. Just like then, Talent Search students today receive tutoring, academic and financial counseling, career exploration and assistance with completion of college admissions, financial and scholarship applications.
“I’m the first person in my family to graduate,” said Moore, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Professional and Technical Writing from Chicago State University. “Back then, the Talent Search tutors helped me to improve my writing and helped me to see that going to college was something I could do. It didn’t matter where I came from.”
Moore, who began working as a part-time Talent Search tutor in 2001, has been on the professional staff at CCAS for seven years. She spends her week getting students from both Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and William R. Harper High School ready for college.
“I started out as a tutor for the program, but now in my current role, I recruit and help plan college tours and assist other staff on the post-secondary education team,” she said. “Our Talent Search team works closely with the Post Secondary Counselor to help prepare the seniors for college.”
Moore even started a spa day for young girls during her time at Charles R. Henderson Elementary School.
“We did it once a year,” Moore said. “It was a blessing to see the girls each day and when we did that, they always had smiles on their faces. I love helping students with their self-esteem.”
“Her ability to engage students in conversations about their education plans as well as becoming well-rounded individuals is part of what makes Moore a dedicated member of our staff,” said Danny Gordon, the director of Educational Talent Search. Gordon was Moore’s Talent Search tutor during her high school days at King.
“She has such a compassion for the kids,” Gordon said. “She’s dedicated and a hard worker. She enjoys being creative and she always looks for ways to help students to be encouraged.”