Ada Cheng named 2021 Educator of the Year

September 1, 2021    

On August 27, the 7th Congressional District’s Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force (MEATF) and American Multi Ethnic Coalition (AMEC) awarded Dr. Ada Cheng the 2021 Educator of the Year award during the annual Community Heroes Award Ceremony. This event was held at Yellow Box Naperville.

Congressman Danny Davis presented Ada with the award. Special thanks to Dianna Tyler @goddesswarriorthepoet for the nomination and Tony Townsend for this video.

Message from Ada

“My utmost gratitude to the hosting organizations, including Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force (MEATF) and American Multi Ethnic Coalition (AMEC), for creating such a beautiful ceremony.

I invited one person to the ceremony: Moises Villada. One of my closest collaborators at UIC these past two years. I need to thank him for accompanying me and for taking photos. We had to leave Chicago early afternoon and didn’t get home until late at night. I truly appreciate him and his company throughout the whole ceremony. Moises, thank you for witnessing this moment with me.

What’s different about this award? It’s not so much about the award itself. Of course it means a lot. It’s my attitude and feelings when learning about the nomination and when receiving the award that mark the difference.

If this award had been presented to me several years ago, I would have had self doubt and felt like an imposter. I would have been tormented with questions. Do I deserve it? Am I worthy? Have I earned it? What if people don’t think I deserve it?

Not this time. Not one moment of self doubt. Not one thread of imposter syndrome. No tormenting questions for myself.

I know I deserve it, not from the place of arrogance or entitlement, but from a deep sense of worthiness, having put in the effort and done the work. So I accept it with ease, grace and gratitude, knowing I am still growing as a human being.

It’s a nice place to be when you feel peaceful with awards, with or without them, and when accolades don’t change the way you see yourself and your work.

It’s a nice place to be.”

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