The Elementary Education Program is pleased to announce two recipients for the 2020-2021 Beck Endowment Award — Pary Aflaki and Allie Grossman. Both are completing their internship year and will be graduating with the Master of Education teaching degree in May 2021.
Pary Aflaki is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. Pary realized early on the awe and cringeworthiness of her parents’ beloved Middle Eastern name for her—“Parastoo,” a traditional Iranian name meaning “a swallow”—used solely by her parents, but to the world, she is Pary. While at Mary Washington, Pary worked as a camp counselor teaching kids how to ice skate and rollerblade, and as a hospital volunteer at Mary Washington Healthcare. Pary says, “I have been a student of diversity for 23 years. Now, I will soon be a teacher with dark brown hair on my head and arms, thick eyebrows, and olive skin color. English was not my first language, but it is the one that I will use to connect and guide my students. I may not find my name on a keychain, but finding a placard titled ‘Miss Aflaki’ outside my classroom is a dream!”
Allie Grossman is a graduate of GW with a major in Marketing, Journalism and Mass Communication, and the recipient of GW’s Presidential Academic Scholarship. She was a member of GW Women in Business, HerCampus GW, Chabad Colonials, as well as other GW organizations. During her senior year, Allie served as a Communications and Digital Marketing intern in area DC companies. Her graduation last May left a lingering question. “Entering into the Elementary Education Program has lit a fire inside of me and uncovered a passion I never knew existed. To me, real power is the ability to create change. Touching the life of a child is the single snowflake that can start the avalanche. Teachers have great power with their ability to change the world through empowering our future generation. At the end of this program, it is with this power that I hope to leave my mark on the world.” Welcome to Elementary Education, Allie!
The Beck Endowment was created in 1996 from a gift by Dr. Gloria L. Horrworth, GSEHD professor emeritus, in honor of colleague, alumna, GSEHD faculty member and program director, Dr. Sylven Seid Beck.