“I am a mom first.” That’s usually the first phrase you’ll hear from Ms. Nikki Dangerfield, followed by words of advice or encouragement. As a Baton Rouge Organizer, it’s her job to meet with, engage and educate parents to help them be the best advocates that they can be for their children. While Ms. Nikki may be an organizer now, her story with Stand began three years ago because she was, and is, ‘a mom first.’
Ms. Nikki first started working with Stand for Children Louisiana when her oldest child’s school, Istrouma High School, was slated for closure in Fall 2013. At a public meeting for parents, Ms. Nikki continuously pressed education administrators on the quality of the school her child would be asked to attend the following year, and she continued to push for high expectations. It was then that she starting working with Stand for Children to push the school board to ensure her children would be able to attend a high quality school and that the new Istrouma High School would meet the needs of the community, while preparing students for college and career.
Not long after that, Stand for Children was asked to connect PBS with parents who would be willing to weigh in on the divisive St. George break-away school district for their documentary ‘Separate, but Unequal.’ With four children in the Baton Rouge School system, she has been heavily invested in ensuring that the EBR school system was the strongest it could be. She willingly volunteered and continued to speak out about a split that would have financially decimated the East Baton Rouge school system and left students with few high-quality school options. The measure later failed and the school district remains intact today.
Ms.Nikki continued to advocate for her children and the children of her community, educating her fellow parents along the way and helping them to become the best advocates that they could be.
When the opportunity arose for Ms. Nikki to join the team at Stand, she willing left a ten-year long, stable career, so that she could work to positively impact the lives of students and parents in the Baton Rouge Community.
As a strong advocate for her own children, Ms. Nikki has grown to become an even more powerful voice for her children, and the children and parents in her community and she has continued #StandingStrong for children across the entire state of Louisiana. Between the 2015 Summer - 2016 Summer alone Ms. Nikki met with, engaged and helped educate over 800 parents in the Baton Rouge community on topics ranging from expanding access to quality early childhood education programs, to workshops that ensure a strong finish for high school seniors to attend college and beyond.