Get the Inside Scoop on the UI Team

While we are putting further story postings on hold for near future, please enjoy our story archive featuring instructor spotlights and team accomplishments!

Do you know about the Virginia Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI)?  The Virginia EIRI’s goal is to serve students in grades K-3 by helping reduce reading difficulties through early diagnosis and immediate intervention.  The initiative assists distri...

Read Article

June Instructor Spotlight

Originally from The Gambia, West Africa, Saul Badjie traveled to the United States in August of 1993.  He earned his Bachelors of Arts in Public Affairs and International Studies in 2003 from Wayne State University, in Detroit, MI, and furthered his education by receiving his Master of Public Administration from Walden University in Minneapolis, MN, in 2011.

Previously working in the automotive industry, Saul transgressed to education in 2012, working as an Intervention Assistant at Huron Academy, in Sterling Heights, MI, for five years.  Towards the end of his career at Huron Academy, he simultaneously started working part-time at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, as a College Success Coach with Project Upward Bound, a multi-faceted college preparatory enrichment program.  In this program, he served high school and middle school students that are ELL (English Language Learners), along with those with special needs and issues with maintaining attention and hyperactivity.

Saul lived in Michigan for 24 years before relocating to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area last summer, wanting to work for PCG as a TutorEd Intervention Specialist.  He currently teaches grades three and four at Weems Elementary School, part of Manassas City Public Schools in Manassas City, VA.  He prides himself in being part of the staff at Weems Elementary that won The Governor’s Award for Excellence & Innovation in Education this past year.  Saul was also recently awarded the “Star Award” from Manassas Public Schools, recognizing the great work he has accomplished.  Members of the Manassas Public School community say that Saul is, “flexible, easy to work with, and dedicated to what is best for kids.”

“I was pursuing teaching opportunities in the Washington D.C. area for almost three years. When the phone call came from PCG-UI, I was ready.  I felt honored, yet humbled, to accept this opportunity,” says Saul. “Having worked with kindergarteners up to college students, especially in minority and low-income families that are ELL, I quickly realized PCG specializes in serving this capacity. My experience as an instructor for PCG has exposed me to work with a demographic I’ve served before, however, this is on a larger scale and with much younger students.”

Saul says what he enjoys most about working with PCG-UI is the trusted light-touch supervision he receives and the several avenues of communication that have been made available, giving him a peace of mind. According to Saul, “PCG’s culture, mission and vision convinced me that I was making a smart career move.”

As an instructor for the past seven years, Saul has tutored and mentored students, while also dedicating time to teaching in afterschool programs and summer camps.  He presently volunteers about fifteen hours a week, tutoring K-12 students from Senegal in English, comprehension, study skills, and college prep.  He can also instruct all students in the subjects of math, reading, social studies, and history.  He says what he enjoys most about being an instructor is making a difference in the lives of children, by encouraging them to do their very best.   Patience and perseverance are two traits he values in the education sector because he claims that every child simply learns differently.

Saul wants his students to know that it’s okay for them to fail and he encourages them to work hard, while also admitting that not every child will take the same path in life.  He wants his students to embrace diversity and assist in serving humankind.  Those who have had the opportunity to work with Saul will feel the extended enthusiasm and passion that he has for students and teaching.  He engages his students and gives them the opportunity to demonstrate how to solve a problem.  By empowering his students, he gives him the ownership.

“I feel blessed that as a black man, and we are short of black men in schools, I’m reminded every day that having contact with students in the hallway, and communicating with them, gives them hope and confidence that they can succeed,” Saul states.  “I have eight students in Michigan that have maintained a GPA of 3.2 or better as a result of the work we started about six years ago.  The oldest of them is finishing her undergrad degree in Bio Medical Engineering at Wayne State University.  She came to the United States in 2012 with little to no English Language skills at all.  She was admitted with a 3.67 GPA and has not looked back since.  That’s what keeps me motivated.”

We would like to thank Saul for his constant commitment, enthusiasm, and leadership with students. We could not be more amazed of his accomplishments.

Article written by Summer Tarpley.