Star of Queens: Montell Moseley, paraprofessional, DOE

Photo courtesy of Montell Moseley

PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Montell Moseley attended the St. Pascal’s Catholic elementary school in Hollis, Queens, where she met members of the rap group Run DMC. She graduated from Bayside High School in 1986, received a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College and finished her education with a master’s degree in New York Institute of Technology. She is the 10th of 12 children.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND CAREER: Moseley has worked for Department of Education as paraprofessional for more than 20 years with developmentally disabled and autistic elementary school children. Before that, she spent five years working for state group homes housing developmentally disabled people, and is currently in the process of creating a nonprofit youth agency for at-risk children and juvenile first offenders.

MOTIVATION TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY: She said she enjoys caring for other human beings who don’t have a job or the talents to help themselves, and wants to listen to and hear them.

“I had a passion to give back, it makes me feel happy,” Moseley said.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Jump-starting her grassroots effort to run for City Council. Moseley needs 2,600 signatures to fulfill her dream of running for the City Council seat in the 24th District, and is meeting the community and knocking on doors to get the support she would need as a political contender.

“They may say no, or they may say yes,” Moseley said.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS: Being a single parent. Her son, 23, overcame cancer and is blind in one eye. Moseley said her daughter, 20, had a lot of trouble dealing with the emotional effects of their situation, but as the girl got older she began to understand how hard it was for her family to cope.