Get to know one of our many dedicated staff members in the following Q&A with Andre Conquest, youth worker at our Riis Academy-Queensbridge campus:
Q. How long have you worked at Riis Settlement?
A. I have been working at Riis Settlement since 2015.
Q. How did you come to work at Riis?
A. Well I first started working at the Riis Academy- Queensbridge summer camp as part of the Summer Youth Employment Program. I really enjoyed what I was doing, so I asked the director, Ms. Franklin, for a permanent job and she said yes!
Q. What is your current role?
A. I work with the youth in our elementary program. I prepare the snacks for the kids, help them with their homework, and teach them visual arts.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in that role?
A. My biggest challenge is getting the kids to take me seriously. It’s ok to laugh and joke sometimes but the moment a kid takes you for a joke they will walk all over you, so I have to be a little stern at times.
Q. What is the biggest reward?
A. My biggest reward is seeing the joy on the kids’ faces when we complete a task.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. I am currently studying criminal justice at LaGuardia Community College. My goal is to become a paralegal and work in a law firm.
Q. What drew you to the field of law?
A. My grandfather studied law and went on to become a detective. He is retired now, but I have always been fascinated with the way the system works, and he really inspired me to want to study law.
Q. Other than your grandfather, do you have a role model or someone who has mentored you in your life?
A. Yes, my mother and father have definitely helped a lot in my growing experience. They have helped me become the man I am today.