I firmly believe that the collection of all my experiences and insights have shaped me into the individual I am today. We are constantly becoming and evolving into a more developed version of ourselves. Limiting my view to only the experiences that I’ve had from an educational standpoint would negate and minimize how the culmination of experiences have shaped who I am and my philosophy surrounding my work and purpose. Because of my desire to create an equitable education system and assist in our efforts to best serve all students, I am passionate about creating solutions through community involvement.
In 2019 all students are not receiving an equitable education system. Growing up in a heavily underfunded school district was my first-hand exposure to the reality that many students across our nation and world are experiencing. Going on to college and gaining further context around the American education system and working in schools with more appropriate funding a sense of advocacy arose in me. Through research and discussion, I have dedicated energy towards creating solutions that help to eliminate such inequalities within our schools. As a solution-oriented educator, I have joined the local education foundation board and school improvement councils that cater specifically to males of color, students with a low socioeconomic status, students with varying abilities and those of which who identify as LGBTQ+. We realized that we had several complaints from students with such identities, but nothing was being done about. Being a part of such committees and organizations has allowed me to dedicate time, energy, and resources to bettering their experiences and sense of inclusion. All students regardless of their background and identities deserve an educational experience that feels safe and recognized.
Over time and with reason, we have essentially lost our connection between schools and community. As the Public Outreach and Community Coordinator for an institution, I actively seek out opportunities to present an intersection between the two. I realized that many schools are extremely interested in partnering with community partners because of their workload and limited resources in many cases. In addition, community partners are interested in working with schools to help develop the next generation and build visibility for their company or organization. Within my role, I have fostered valuable relationships between the community and various schools in hopes of best serving students. Through this I have been able to create a mentoring program where community members can serve as a lunch buddy and a book drive to place book shelves and reading material in several businesses across the city. As a community connector, I leverage my relationships and resources to emphasize the importance of the school within a community and the role of the community to assist in that effort.
I firmly believe that every connection and interaction I have is important. Many of those connections are the very reasons I can produce solutions in hopes of best serving our students of today and constantly expanding to include evolved versions of what it means to best serve our students of today. As a community connector and change agent, I will utilize each experience to create an education system that fosters inclusive excellence, innovation, and learning. When we keep these principles at the forefront of serving our students, we inevitably work to create an environment for all. I vow to stay committed to that work and change.