Q&A with SAJE Fellow Hardika Patel

September 9, 2020 Caitlin Burns

Arcadia University student Hardika Patel
By John Stuetz '20M

Hardika Patel '24 is a member of the first Social Action and Justice Education (SAJE) Fellowship cohort at Arcadia University. The fellowship will provide preparatory programs and leadership training for SAJE fellows to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms—aiming to address the nationwide shortage of educators of color by recruiting and retaining fellows who lead schools, programs, and educational opportunities geared toward diversity, equity, and social justice.

What is your hometown?
I am from Chalfont, Pa. and I live in the suburban area.

From what high school did you graduate?
I graduated from Central Bucks High School South. 

What are some of your favorite hobbies? 
Some of my hobbies include baking, hanging out with friends, doing photography, and reading. 

Who are a few musical artists that have been on your “quarantine playlist”? Any go-to tracks?
I have been listening to a lot of Khalid and Kane Brown during this time in quarantine. 

What are some of your proudest accomplishments? 
My proudest accomplishment was when I led a whole class by myself for several weeks every Sunday. I got to teach little girls about different stories about the history of our Hinduism and try to get them to enfold all these morals into their everyday lives.

The SAJE Fellowship is a cohort of students pursuing careers as educators for social justice. First, what led to your interest in pursuing the field of education?
My interest in pursuing the field of education is because I want to make a difference in a child’s life and help them feel very confident in themselves. 

And what were some of the factors that contributed to your interest in pursuing such a career through the SAJE Fellowship specifically?
[A factor] that contributed to my interest in pursuing a career through this fellowship is that I could mentor diverse students to foster their success in the classroom and in the outside world.  

Switching gears, it’s of course a unique time for our country, with renewed awareness and focus on the systemic racism that has long existed in America. Has anything stood out to you most regarding issues of race and social justice this year? 
Something that has stood out to me is that everyone from all different backgrounds are coming together and trying to make a difference for the world. 

What is a quote you wish everyone would live by?
“If you have the intent then you can do anything.” 

Is there anything else you would like the Arcadia community to know about you before signing off?
I am just looking forward to meeting everyone and learning more about Arcadia and my major. 

Class of 2024SAJE Fellowshipdiversityeducationschool of education