CLARK, NJ – Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Julia Melao has been selected vice-president for the statewide New Jersey Future Educators Association.

As an NJFEA officer, Melao attended leadership training at Lehigh University. She is responsible for planning the NJFEA Conferences throughout the year and guiding the direction of the organization.

“Julia is the type of student who excels when she is challenged,” teacher and advisor of ALJ’s Future Educators/Tomorrow’s Teachers program Franklin Stebbins said.  “She is already an advocate for education and has the ability to immediately create positive change in whatever endeavor she pursues.”

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“Oftentimes, when I tell others I plan to pursue a career in education, I’m told many reasons why I should not be an educator,” Melao shared.  “I’m hoping that being a part of this program will show me all of the reasons why I should be a teacher.”

The Future Educators/Tomorrow’s Teachers program is in its second year at ALJ and offers students the opportunity to obtain college credits through a partnership with Rider University.  In its first year, the program was one of six chapters recognized at the statewide Service and Leadership dinner for its community projects.

Last year, the group hosted a book drive collecting over 600 books and organized a week long science enrichment after school programs.  Additionally, the group raised over $500 for pediatric cancer research with the help of the ALJ Athletic Program.  At the dinner, Stebbins was also invited to be the keynote speaker on the topic of advocacy and leadership for future educators. 

“In American society, teacher’s lack the credit they truly deserve. What I love about this program is that it builds educators up by highlighting strengths and by showing how much of a difference a teacher can make in a student’s life,” Melao said.