After Learning How to Be An Effective Parent Leader, I Took Another Parent Under My Wings

I want to share my journey with you in hopes that it can inspire other parents who want to become leaders at their school or in their community. I also want to provide guidance and an example of how they can begin their own journey.

Eight years ago I started spending time volunteering with my daughter’s teachers making copies and helping out during lunch or at school events. In 2014, I attended a meeting at the school that opened my eyes, and I found out how politics are very much involved in our children’s education. I realized that there is more that I can do. Of course, it is great to help in your child’s school by making copies and helping the teacher, but we can do more positive things that can have a greater impact our school and our community.

During that time, I had the opportunity to be part of the charter renewal of Rocketship Discovery Prep, which is where I began my leadership as a parent. I also supported other Rocketship schools during their charter renewals by attending board meetings and sharing my personal story on what Rocketship had done for my two daughters. I also supported other parents to open Promise Academy in downtown San Jose. In addition, I supported KIPP Navigate College Prep because in my community we needed to focus on having high quality elementary, middle and high school options for ALL children.

Since then, I have been involved in everything that had to do with my daughters’ education. I went to every meeting that I thought was interesting (mostly every single one). I collected a lot of information and filled out what I like to call my parent leader bag. Years later, I still carry that bag everywhere I go, and I’m ready to share my resources with anyone who is willing to learn.

Being a parent leader means a lot to me. 2018 was my last year at Rocketship Discovery Prep, which is where I first learned what it meant to be a parent leader. I was recognized and rewarded as parent of the year in 2017. Last year I was also recognized for the Sam Liccardo Civic Award 2018 from Rocketship Public School and for my leadership as a parent. For me, being a parent leader is not about receiving awards and prizes, rather it is really about wanting to do what I can to support high quality education and to support finding more parents and teaching them to become leaders. I want to be a mentor to other parents and support them so that together we can create positive changes in our community of East Side San Jose.

I met an amazing mom from Rocketship Discovery Prep who sat down with me at the coffee chat and began to talk to me about her personal life. She trusted me, and I trusted her. I remember last year she joined us at our Rocketship Discovery Prep table at the dinner for parents, and she said something to me that I had never heard before. She said, “Take me under your wings and show me everything you know.” I never thought about how I can impact other parents and teach them everything I know. But I did take her under my wings.

Rosemary Scott is amazing mother and a very kind and sweet person. I took her with me to every meeting and supported her in her first testimony while speaking to Senator Jim Beall. We even participated in advocacy trips together to Sacramento. I feel good to be able to teach and share everything I know to her. I hope that Rosemary will do the same, inspiring and supporting others parents at Rocketship Discovery Prep. It is exciting to bring along new leaders with the passion and ganas to make changes and do what is right for all of our kids.

Now I feel confident that Rosemary is a parent leader like me, and she will find other leaders. Mentoring another parent is my major reward. This is what a parent leader does at Rocketship; we support each other. Rosemary received a Parent Power Award this year at Rocketship, and I am so proud of her.

Thank you for letting me take you under my wings, Rosemary.

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Eva Heredia

Eva Heredia

Eva is a parent leader at Rocketship Discovery Prep and at KIPP Heritage Academy in East Side San Jose. She currently lives in San Jose California with her two beautiful daughters and her husband. She was born in Mexico City in 1976 but also considers Oaxaca as her home because of her mother. She began her leadership at Rocketship Discovery Prep over four years ago. She learned that there was so much more that she could do as a parent beyond volunteering in her children’s classroom. Eva became fully aware of the political involvement a parent must act on. She has the experience and extensive knowledge about public officials, school board members, and school administrators who play an important role in public education in East Side San Jose. She supported the opening of Kipp Navigate at a State level, by advocating for quality schools alongside other parents in 2018. She then became a founding parent at Kipp Navigate. Besides being a champion for high-quality education and choice, she also helped build the Wooster Neighborhood Association in her community. She is the voice for her children, students, and her community. She is a huge supporter of parent engagement, choice, and access to higher education. In addition, Eva also attended an Adult High School and graduated from Independence High School in 2019.

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