ED. Magazine

5 Reasons to Know… Raygine DiAquoi, Doctoral student

By Lory Hough


She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and attended public schools until the sixth grade when her parents, wanting her to have every opportunity, sent her to the Hewitt School, a private school for girls on the Upper East Side. Her experience there highlighted the inequities she knew existed in public education. “I was being groomed to be a leader through the styles, tastes, and predispositions that my teachers and mentors were actively cultivating in me,” she says. “This contrasted greatly with the experiences of my family members who were being groomed for a life of disadvantage. They were not being asked to think critically, to be creative, or to lead projects. I now know that their schools, like my school, were simply reproducing and maintaining the status quo.” This Big Sister to a local second-grader is now at the Ed School to figure out why this happens — and what she can do about it.

1. With a handful of other doctoral students, she started the , the student arm of the school’s . Their main goal: find a direct link between culture and academic achievement.

2. Ultimately she says she’s interested in better understanding schools that are successfully educating minority students. She also wants to paint a different image of African American families than the prevailing one that implies they are not interested in education.

3. Since coming to the Ed School in 2007 following teaching stints at schools in Harlem and at the academic achievement program she attended before starting private school, she has been active in the annual . “It’s a space where I feel nourished and reminded of why I’m here.”

4. This past summer, she worked in on a designed to help a community track their own school success using surveys and interviews. She created a task force of teachers, students, community leaders, and parents that are doing the tracking and then will share the findings with the rest of the community.

5. She can walk on stilts and ride a unicycle. She learned both skills while a counselor at a performing arts camp. “I unicycle now to relieve stress. It’s hard, it’s counterintuitive, but that’s part of the fun.”

photo by Martha Stewart

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  • Rose Honey

    6. Ray is the BEST! (Plus she laughs at all of your jokes – even if they’re not so funny).

  • Gilberte

    Way to go Ray!

  • Ms. Silvia

    I am so proud of you RayRay!

  • Pierre

    Ray is formidable–very fun to be around her and a great friend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ebexley Eddye Bexley

    I tutor children, and I am going to make sure they read about you. You are wonderful…

  • http://www.facebook.com/terri.nicole.singleton Terri-Nicole Singleton

    I’m so glad to hear of your accomplishments. I really enjoyed having you as a TA and classmate in Joe Blatt’s classes during the 2008-2009 term. All the best to you in all you do. Your work in truly inspiring! ~Terri-Nicole – TIE M.Ed 2009

  • Sherry Grand

    It was wonderful reading about what Raygine is doing. I got to know her during her four years as a member of the Hewitt School in New York City as Head of Upper School. We would love to have her come back and talk to the young women here.
    I am not surprised at her accomplishements as she was very accomplished in those days as well.
    Sherry Grand
    Director of Alumnae Relations
    The Hewitt School

  • Mehreen

    Ray was my TA for the class on Media and Education. Loved her and miss the interaction.

  • Mehreen

    Ray was my TA for the class on Media and Education. Loved her and miss the interaction.

  • Nethaneel

    She’s a like little sister to me with a great big heart. Continue to be blessed Ray!

  • Fidelis Kyarwenda

    l real enjoy reading Ray’s story. it very challenging l feel like meeting her to and have that chance to learn a lot from her. she as real inspired me! BUT its like a dream to meet her, l live far away in Africa,Tanzania is my home country. You can reach me through this email address, fkyarwenda@yahoo.com

  • Kwoode

    Very inspiring. Will be a role model and mentor to a lot. Keep it up

  • M.W.L. Johnson

    Raygine, I want to more of your story. Keep up the inspiring work!

  • Shantipise

    Hi ray would like to be in touch with you
    You are amazing

  • Neramilp

    J’ai lu plusieurs de vos articles sur Haiti ,comment puis-je rentrer en contact avec vous.Je travaille sur un projet d’ecole et de centre de formation en Haiti.mon email neramilp@lesley.edu

  • toyin

    kudos ,Ray! keep the flag flying and do pass on the torch

  • Dr. Shari Sweetnam

    Tremendous vision, such a powerful endeavor. It is inspiring to know people who dedicate their lives to changing the game for otherwise compromised students and their families.

  • Michelle Gordon

    Totally awesome and inspiring! I am a currently an educator. How can I help!

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