Anna Eng, School Counselor from UFT
* School counselor
* Pathways to Graduation, Brooklyn
As a school counselor working with dropouts who were seeking ways to finally earn a diploma, Anna Eng had limited time with students. But she made every minute count, guiding and supporting them as they worked to turn their lives around.
Anna spent 34 years helping students succeed. For the last 13 years, that meant working in Brooklyn in the Pathways to Graduation program that helps students in all five boroughs earn high school equivalency diplomas. Whatever their issues — incarceration, living in shelters, family problems — they wanted to return to school and she was there to help them.
Anna, 59, died on May 6.
In her referral work — testing students and then, based on the results, counseling them about what path to take — Anna knew how to make each student feel valued, said Shewlanda Berkley, her colleague at the Pathways to Graduation Referral Center at Boys and Girls HS in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“Anna had the ability to personalize each case and to move students beyond academics and graduation,” Berkley said, “to plan for life beyond that.”
Berkley remembered the young man smartly dressed in his uniform who came back to thank Anna for helping guide him to a military career.
“They were her kids and she worked to find the right place for them and then followed up to see how they were doing,” said Chapter Leader Michael Friedman.
“We were a team from the beginning, and now we’ve lost our leader,” Berkley said, referring to the three counselors who worked together. “Now, who will open our Referral Center before 7 a.m.? Who will play soothing music and tell us to take it easy when things get busy and tense?”
As important as her students were to Anna, her 14-year-old son, Ryan, was the apple of her eye, colleagues said. Ryan played the cello at a family memorial for his mother.
In addition to her son, Anna is survived by her husband, Frank Hau.
Condolences may be sent to:
3051 Brighton 14th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11235