Advocate for the Ones You Love

Who We Are | 02/14/2019

Amani Thomas
Communications & Community Engagement Manager

An activist in her own right, Frances McNeil has spent decades advocating for her children – and all children – to have access to the best education and opportunities available.

“I’ve always been passionate about children, I guess because I had a home daycare. I raised my children at home… kids came to us. I’ve always had kids in my life so I’ve always felt passionate about children and wanted them do well.”

Frances is a mother of two, resident of the Frayser community, and relentless advocate for children, education and families in her community.

Frances first joined Stand almost two years ago at a funding rally downtown where we called on the City of Memphis to invest in public education. Two years later, she remains an active participant in our education advocacy and seeks to gain an understanding of changes that she can share with children, parents and families that she knows.

“I stay in Stand for Children because I really want the people with special education (needs) to be just like the rest of the students and receive a good education.”

Frances connects her passion for advocacy back to her own experiences as a mother after years of challenging the status quo for special education students. If one principal had not reached out to her asking for her trust in him, and to provide her son with the education and resources he deserved, her faith in public education for students with special needs would have dwindled. This principal not only restored Frances’ faith in her son’s education opportunities, but his faith as a student once he was given more elective classes and opportunities to express himself.

As a member of the Stand family and Momentum Memphis Graduation Success Task Force, Frances is a key member of our team and driving force of our work. We are proud of Frances and her commitment to supporting youth and encourage all who can join us in fighting for educational equity.

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