An Interview with Sophie Riina

Last week, May 4-8 was Teacher Appreciation Week. Our Education Coordinator, Sophie Riina, is a teacher who, for the past few months, has overseen our Elementary After School Tutoring and SONYC programs. Since we started working remotely, Sophie was instrumental in moving those programs online as well. We spoke with Sophie about her background as an educator, and her experience at CIANA so far.

How long have you been working at CIANA?

I have been working at CIANA since the beginning of February of 2020.

What motivated you to get involved with CIANA’s after-school programs?

I've been working in after-school programs for many years serving immigrant populations. Being a child of immigrants myself, I wanted to continue to help newcomers and first generation Americans in my native neighborhood of Astoria.

Being an Astoria resident yourself, how did that factor into your decision to work at CIANA?

I love Astoria, and I'm very proud to have grown up here, so I wanted to give back to my neighborhood. Additionally, I think it's very helpful for parents and students to have a point of contact who is from the area and might be able to direct them to local facilities and events.

What kinds of experience have you had previously working with students as a teacher? What grades did you teach?