By Rebecca WilliamsTell us more about your background; what drew you to work at SchoolSmartKC My mom is an educator, and she has fostered my love for life-long learning, my respect for the significant impact schools have on individuals and our society, and my...
From The Team
Awais SufiDear Friends, As I announced last year, my journey as the CEO of SchoolSmartKC will end in the coming days. I’ve spent the last few months reflecting on this extraordinary work, our amazing team and partners, and the continued need to support an amazing...
By Juan RangelStudents’ ability to attend school regularly and do well academically is determined, in part, by the degree to which their basic needs such as stable housing, adequate nutrition, and healthcare are met. A growing body of evidence suggests that students...
SchoolSmartKC is excited to continue our work in Talent Development with an additional focus on building representation for educators of color.
Choosing education as a career came because of many lessons learned, restarts, and developing a deep understanding of what mattered most to me. The choice to become an educator, and dedicate my life to the education of others, was grounded in my belief that education is one of the most important roles undertaken in our society, and one of the greatest and most significant resources we have to empower individuals.
Denzel Washington says, “at the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”
In my childhood household, giving to the community was something that my parents modeled daily. My parents were both teachers – although my dad joined the profession as a second career, after working as an engineer and a farmer in the rural part of England that I grew up in.
It has been a real honor for me to participate in mentoring a student through the Hispanic Development Fund (HDF). Thirty plus years ago I was a recipient of the scholarship, and a message that was given to me at that time has always stayed me, which is: “Your community has given to you, never forget to give back to your community”. Now my son is a recipient and so are other family members.
A recent trip to D.C. gave me the opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King monument. It was not my first time there, but the events of the last twelve months added an extra poignancy to my visit. As I read the various quotes from Dr. King inscribed at the site, one in particular struck me as deeply connected to recent events, the SSKC mission, and the serious work that needs to be done to ensure equity in Kansas City and across our nation. I feel compelled to share it with you today as we remember the work of Dr. King and his vision for all of us:
My parents came to Kansas City, Missouri in 1966 as immigrants from Mexico. As an immigrant family, and me as a first-generation student, we faced many issues that made it difficult to participate in the local educational system.