Staff member of the Month: Mildred Velez

How would you describe your role in BSGE?

Well my title is school aide. I do a few things. I’m in the cafeteria for all the lunch periods. Then after the lunch periods are over, I do what the staff… If they need supplies, I get the teacher supplies, I do filing, I make copies, I take care of the copying machines, I order supplies for the copy machines… And basically anything that comes up.

How long have you worked at BSGE?

I believe it’s going on for 5 years.

So you’ve been here the whole time Ms.Johnson was the principal?

Yes, the whole time she was principal and I believe one year before she was the principal. When Mr. Stroud was the principal.

Why did you choose to work here?

Well I didn’t choose, they chose me. Because the Board of Education sends  the school aides to the schools who need school aides, so I really didn’t choose.

What’s it like working at BSGE?

Oh, it’s very nice. I’ve worked at other big schools, I’ve come from Aviation, Thomas Edison… And this is the smallest school there is. It’s very nice because the students are really nice compared to big schools.

Are the students more… loud in the bigger schools?

Yeah, they were more like…Rough. You had to really stand back, take 2 steps back to see them from a distance. Because you really don’t know how they’re going to react towards you… So, this is a really big difference.

What’s the best part of working at BSGE?

The best part of working at this school… I would say the students are the best part. They really really make the school. They either make it or break it, and they make it. They really make the atmosphere.

And the worst part?

Sometimes there’s a lot of things to do and not enough time in one day. And whn you try to get everything done that’s assigned to you for that day, you really want to do it and you have to give a little extra of yourself. But it’s okay. There really is no worst part.

Do you have a favorite person at BSGE?

Not really, it’s nice to get along with people… But everyone’s a favorite!

What advice would you give to the students of BSGE? On life, school, the universe, whatever?

To do the best they can in whatever they’re doing. Whether it’s work related, school related,. personal related, whatever it is, do the best you can.

What other jobs did you work at before coming to BSGE?

I used to work at Office Max. That’s where I get all the training with the copy machine. That’s why I’m an expert in copy machines. That’s what I do.

What’s your ethnic background?

My parents are from Puerto RIco.

100% Puerto Rican?

Yes.

Where did you grow up?

In Spanish Harlem in Manhattan.

So you were born in NY?

Yes. Yes.

So you’ve always lived here?

Yes, I don’t know any place but New York!

Tell me about your family.

I don’t have much family… My mom and my dad are no longer with us. I never got married. I live with my brother, I take care of him mostly because he has emotional problems.

Is he older or younger than you?

He’s just 1 year older than me. And we’re close. But he needs supervision, when I’m at work he stays at my cousin’s house and then I go get him. And that’s about it for now.

Do you have any pets?

No, I’ve never had a pet!

Aw, why not?

I’ve always wanted one.  But for some reason since we were small we never had one, so I grew up without one and I never got into having one. And now even if I wanted one, I really couldn’t afford one.

Yeah, they’re really expensive now… What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Oh, I love to read. I’m always reading something. Right now I’m into reading Health books and Nutrition books.

Oh, so you’re interested in health, nutrition and staying healthy?

Yes! And, I love crafts… I go to Michael’s store, I love crafts…

What kind of crafts do you do?

Well I used to do jewelry. I used to make my own bracelets and I used to make jewelry and I used to buy a lot of pieces of wood, like wood cards and paint them and decorate them and put them as magnets on my refrigerator.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

If I won the lottery, the first thing I would do would be to put the money away for myself. The next thing I would do would give money to charity. But I’d have to study up on which charity to give. Because sometimes charities become corrupt and they don’t give money to the right things. So I would definitely need to study on which is the best place to give to.

Describe yourself in 2 words!

Too loyal… And too serious!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Oh wow! Umm, to take away crime from this world.

No breathing under water?

No, I would want something to fix the world.

Thank you for allowing us to interview you, Mildred.

Click here to read past staff interviews from the BACC Rag!

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