Meet Astoria this month welcomes Elizabeth Ficeto, a mom, wife, full time worker and student! She grew up in Garden Bay Manor, and has lived in Astoria for 23 years.
QS: Why did you choose to become a special needs paraprofessional?
EF: When my kids were small, I volunteered in their school, where I discovered how much I love working with kids. So when the opportunity to work with special needs kids came up, I didn’t hesitate to accept the position.
QS: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
EF: Knowing that I’ve made a difference in a child’s life, whether it’s in academic support, or just by simply listening to a parent that may not have an encouraging support system to help them deal with the everyday issues that come with special needs children has been extremely rewarding.
QS: How do you balance a full time job, school and a family?
EF: Like with anything else, when there’s no other choice, you just make things work. I make sure to set aside time to do my studying or homework when it doesn’t interfere with spending time with my family.
QS: When you do find time for yourself, what do you like to do locally in the neighborhood?
EF: Free time for me is rare, but when I can, I try to go to one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood with my friends, or I love to go see a movie with my kids, so free time and family time all in one.
QS: What is your favorite thing about living in and raising a family in Astoria?
EF: I love that you don’t have to leave Astoria for any reason, anything you need can be found within a few blocks! I can walk to go shopping, or the movies, and I can find any type of food right on 30th Ave. Raising my family in Astoria has given my kids a sense of community – they still run into kids they went to elementary school with.