Power isn’t given, it’s taken. Let me tell you something; I think we all have the power and capacity to be leaders in some form or another. No one should ever feel inferior to anyone else.
I wanted my children to have an opportunity to receive a great education. I could not afford to have my children attend a decent school, so I had to look for a solution to that unfortunate problem; that’s when I was presented with the opportunity to send my children to a new school, Rocketship. At the beginning, the school was very small and parents were the soul of the organization. I along with other parents would always help in anyway possible. We would provide snacks for the students and make sure that teachers were taken care of as well. It’s incredible to see how much our hard work has paid off.
At each Rocketship school, we have Parent Organizing Committees where we work to solve educational issues in our own community. For example, at one of our schools, we campaigned for the city to build a crosswalk nearby to ensure the safety of our kids. We also research and build relationships with our local elected officials. For example, this fall we invited Santa Clara County of Education Board Member Joseph Di Salvo to our school so that we could ask him about his stance on important issues like education and housing. We’ve also organized political forums in our community and organized over 2,000 community members to attend local and state actions to protect great public schools. But parent leadership can also mean just taking an active role in your child’s education such as coming to Rocketship cafecitos, community meetings, and volunteering in your school. Most Rocketship schools have a school site council that parents can join.
If you really want to do something, don’t let fear or hurdles stop you from doing it. For example, a while back, there were a few mothers that told me that they wanted to volunteer for Los Dichos, a bilingual parent reading program that happens monthly at all Rocketship Bay Area schools. They expressed their desire to read to our students, but they said that they didn’t have anyone who could take care of their younger children. Do you know what we did? We started to run a daycare that way these mothers had the same opportunity to volunteer like everyone else. Parent leaders can make a difference in so many ways. To sum this up, all parents are capable and should believe in themselves — together we can move mountains!
Ana Soledad Uribe Tapia
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