Second Shift: Putting passion into overdrive

Zonara Asghar
“If I could, I would work three jobs,” Zonara Ashgar, 27, says.

We all know living in a city is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job to make ends meet. This week, meet Zonara, who splits her time between managing a daycare and creating workbooks for children’s learning centers. If you want to be featured, email emily.laurence@metro.us.

Name: Zonara Asghar
Age: 27
Residency: Jersey City, NJ
Lives: Alone
Number of jobs: 2

What is your primary job?

I’m the director at the Superior Daycare Center in Brooklyn. It’s a Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 job, but sometimes I’m there until 7 p.m. My job is to basically manage the staff and make sure the daycare center is meeting the community’s needs. I try to make it more about the community than anything else by having parenting workshops. We just got our approval for the universal pre-k program which starts in September, so we’re preparing for that and getting the grants that we need.

What’s your second job?

I’m a curriculum developer for Eye Level, a company that has learning centers all over the United States. They give workbooks to the students that come into the learning centers and the workbooks have a section that’s based on critical thinking. I create that. I work remotely, from home, and devote about two hours each weeknight to it. Everything is research-based.

How did you get into childcare and education?

I have a Master’s in educational psychology, which is really about finding new ways children learn, so that’s directly related to my job with Eye Level. But I got into childcare really through raising my younger sister. I also worked at an orphanage in Pakistan when I was in high school. I lived in Pakistan for nine years.

So you see both of your jobs as different ways to use your expertise? 

Exactly. It’s not about the money. With my primary job, I’m catering to a community with a lower socioeconomic background, so that’s a big thing for me. At Eye Level, I’m catering to the upper class. Eye Level offered me a full-time job for $10,000 more than what I make at the daycare center, but I turned it down because helping the community [in Brooklyn] is so important to me. They need me more than the kids who go to Eye Level.

Is there anything about your current work schedule or situation you wish you could change?

To be honest, I wish I could take up a third job because I believe in doing the most you can do when you’re young. … But since I already have two jobs in children’s education, I’d want my third job to have more of a humanitarian purpose. I’m really passionate about [educating people] about domestic violence and child abuse. I would love to be involved with [raising awareness] about these issues.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…