Get to N.J. Akbar
Get to Know N.J. Akbar
Tell us a little bit about yourself (i.e. where are you from, where’d you go to school, what you do for a living, etc.)
I am originally from Detroit, MI and moved to the Akron area over a decade ago for employment at Kent State University. I received a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Kent State University and Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degrees from Eastern Michigan University.
Professionally, I serve as Assistant Dean of University College responsible for the academic success of racially diverse, first generation and low-income students.
Why are you running for this office?
I am a proud product of public schools as I have experienced struggles early on in school. The combination of my limited vocabulary, a lisp, stutter and reading challenges impacted my confidence in education.
By the third grade, I attended four different elementary schools, with varying levels of support. Eventually, I finally landed at a school where I was seen as an individual and encouraged to showcase his remarkable potential. With the help of my parents and some amazing teachers (Ms. Deacon specifically), I received specialized support for speech and reading difficulties.
I am running because I have experienced both ends of education and know the importance of having a supportive educational environment to the success of all children. I am running for Akron School Board because our residents deserve a dedicated educator and person who will be the champion of all students with particular attention to the students are traditionally marginalized. Our schools can work for everyone and I am the candidate that will champion quality schools, policies and practices that will work for everyone.
What are the most important issues on your campaign?
My campaign will focus on the following efforts in order to ensure, “All Children First!”
- Building Trust within Our Community by expanding access to community organizations to our Community Learning Centers
- Increasing Transparency and Participation by leveraging technology.
- Partner with the District Leadership, Community Organizations and Teachers to expand the best practices within the district to other schools.
- Using my policy expertise to analyze current policies and practices to ensure maximized student success.
Give us a fun fact about yourself.
I love to travel…if I could travel somewhere for at least three or four days every month, I would.
What’s your favorite thing about Ohio?
I like the restaurants and parks in Ohio. There is such great scenery in this state including very close to our major metropolitan areas. To take a walk in a national park in Ohio is one of our best kept secrets.
Which team is your favorite sports team? If there’s a fun reason why, tell us!
I am not a major sports person but I do like going to Cleveland Indians games from time to time and I am a Lebron James Fan…so I try to keep up with him but won’t begin to claim to be a Lakers fan (boooo).
If you were a professional athlete what song would you choose to be your “walk out” song?
Oh…I have thought about this for some strange reason. My theme song would "Don’t Stop Believing" by Journey
What TV show have you binge watched entirely too fast?
I watched College Friends on Netflix too fast and Now, I want the new series to come on. I am also addicted to the Walking Dead.
If you were an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
I would compete in golf…I have been playing since I was 13 years old. I have always wanted to play professionally secretly, but I know I am not good enough to do it. But if I was an Olympic athlete…that would be my sport.
Most importantly, how can young Dems help in your campaign?
Young Dems can help my campaign by sharing my FB posts, volunteering for the campaign to canvass or pass out lit on election day at polling stations.
To see the entire list with all of our 2019 Ohio Young Democrats' endorsed candidates click here.
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