Akirah Pressley is Special Education Assistant for the Philadelphia School District. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA, where she was born and raised. Akirah spent her early career years working for daycares, retail companies, and home health care facilities before transitioning to helping children with educational and medical needs. She believes that children are our future. Although they can sometimes be misunderstood and overlooked, she prides on helping those children thrive, be seen, and heard. In 2018 she joined the Family Self-Sufficiency Program partnered with PHA as one of the first participants. She spoke at PHA’s fundraiser that helped shed light on families who needed and wanted help to better take care of their families while achieving goals.
Akirah graduated from Parkway West High School, PA, as a teenage mother at the age of 18. Despite the challenges of being a teenage mother, she pursued her passion in the medical field and completed the Medical Assistance program. The later part of Akirah’s teenage years was hard, living off of money she inherited after her mother’s death in 2005 at the age of thirteen. Over the years, she learned about credit and debt and knew that she wanted to buy a home for herself and her son to live permanently. While working with the School District of Philadelphia, Akirah’s love for children grew- this led to her becoming a foster parent. As part of her passion for her community, Akirah volunteers with Girl Scouts to help young ladies. At the end of every year, she dedicates her time to serving the homeless community.
A graduate of the Family Self-Sufficiency program, she bought her first home in August of 2021 with the help of United Way’s match-saving program, PHA Philly Seed’s program, First Front Door Grant, and the funds she had saved over two years. Akirah is a wife and mother of 3 children with one on the way. She is interested in participating in the Narrative fellowship because as a woman who has beaten the odds, she does not want to become a statistic but part of the change!
Click here to learn more about the Change the Narrative Fellowship Program!