This year we launched our first ever year-long Parent Advocacy Fellowship program. Seven fellows have spent this year honing their community organizing skills—crafting their stories of self, hosting events and holding 1:1s to motivate and inspire other parents to join their work for educational equity. They have spent much of this year focused on the transformation of Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) accountability system—authoring op-eds, testifying before the board, and distributing surveys and petitions within their communities to call on DPS to provide parents with accessible information about how well schools are serving students and communities.
Parent Organizer, Ivana Bejaran Rib, said about Natalie, “Her why is her son. Everything she says and does is to ensure he has a better life and a bright future ahead of him.”
Check out what Natalie had to say about her experience in the fellowship.
What did you like most about the fellowship?
What I loved the most about my fellowship were the connections I made with others. I loved getting to meet mothers in my school who were also passionate about making a difference for a better education in their child’s lives.
What work are you most proud of in completing the fellowship?
I was proud of using my voice and finding out how powerful it truly is.
What learning will you take away from the fellowship?
I learned I am a leader, I learned people actually are interested in what I have to say, I found an inner voice that was hidden and now I’m not afraid to use it.
What do you think is the most important work of the moment in education?
The most important work of the moment in education is making sure every child no matter the color, status, or problems they face daily, deserve the best education, they deserve the same opportunities as any other child who statistically will do better. Our children deserve to know the education they have now will set them up to be whatever they want to become as adults. But right now we are failing our children and there is a lot of work to do.