Seventeen years ago, I overcame homelessness, addiction, and the loss of close friends. I turned my life around, got myself through college, helped start nonprofits such as Stand Up for Kids -Worcester, started a socially responsible small business, and spent the last ten years working with young people and bringing kids, parents, and policymakers together to address challenges related to our schools.
Stand Up for Kids – Worcester, the organization I helped to create, helps homeless and at-risk youth develop the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.
As a community advocate, I have worked with non-profits around the issues of housing, education, the environment, neighborhoods, and economic justice.
When I served on the Worcester Public Library’s Board of Directors, I helped launch the One City – One Library initiative, which put libraries back into our public schools.
As part of my service on the Worcester Arts Council, I helped restore and create new arts programming in our schools.
Most recently I worked with the Education Association of Worcester (EAW) on the Save Our Public Schools – No on Question 2 campaign to ensure that Massachusetts continues to invest in our schools.
I am the owner of Pure Juz, a socially responsible juice bar.
I am a proud parent of a beautiful 11 year old daughter.
Something that has deeply troubled me throughout my years of community advocacy in Worcester is that not all children have access to quality public education. I view this as a civil rights issue. ALL kids deserve safe and healthy 21st century public schools with expanded curriculum, wraparound support services, and community involvement. They need:
–A comprehensive curriculum that includes the arts, history, social studies, civics , physical education, foreign languages, and STEAM programming.
–Safe and healthy schools that are conducive to learning.
–Early childhood education, so that every child is ready to learn when they enter school and no one starts behind.
–Wraparound academic, social/emotional and health supports to reduce the achievement gap and help students stay on track.
–Resource filled libraries that serve as both the heart of the school and their community where students and parents can learn together, access new learning devices, edit videos, music, print in 3D, explore robotics, and more.
I know what it takes to help Worcester kids be successful and how to prevent people from being left behind. I’m running for School Committee to use my experience to strengthen our schools and make sure our kids have the best schools in the Commonwealth.