HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — When times are tough, heroes emerge. We all know someone who’s making a difference right now as we live through unprecedented and changing times.
Here at Patch, we’ve launched an initiative to help recognize these heroes making a difference in their communities. Together with Ring, we’re working to let all your neighbors know about these outstanding people and their stories.
This submission comes from Eileen Gonzalez who is nominating her close friend of 20 years Sandra Choe of Hillsborough.
Hero’s job: Education
Reason for recognition: Sandra works as a Special Education Instructional Aide in our district. Although this already gives you a glimpse into her loving character, her tireless work over these past few months truly displays her undying commitment to the least served in our district. When COVID-19 hit our community and online education was thrust upon our students, Sandra immediately identified students who were falling through the cracks due to lack of technology tools, WiFi and language barriers. She pioneered a program to fill those cracks, not only for the students in her own building, but for all students throughout the Hillsborough district who were experiencing remote learning obstacles.
Over the past 6 months, she has volunteered hundreds of hours to reach out to these students and their families to rectify any problems before school started up again. Since March, she has worked full-time at half-time pay, never allowing her reduced salary to reduce her efforts. Her heart is as big as any woman I know and her first priority is always about doing what she can to help those in need.
I am proud to call her my friend, and proud of her dedication to making sure that every child in this district is on an even playing field in our schools.
She is a hero to every student and family she supports.
One thing to know: Sandra gives tirelessly to the children of our district.