Today is day two of GiveBIG, Washington’s annual collective philanthropy effort. With so many amazing causes to consider, we are grateful for the support we are receiving, which fuels our work to make our state a place where young people from every zip code, racial and gender identity, income and background can learn and nurture their genius in public schools.  

This is our first year participating in GiveBIG, and it is also a time of many firsts and transitions for Stand. We recently rolled out our new and bold articulation of our commitment to being a catalyst for education equity and racial justice statewide. We’re engaging in new bodies of work including youth justice and academic acceleration policy implementation. And we’ve recently welcomed some fantastic new folks to the Stand team.  

Stand’s two newest team members, Carolina Fuentes and Megan Pirie, have offered their reflections about what excites them the most about Stand’s work and mission: 

Megan Pirie, Community Engagement Coordinator

“I joined Stand for Children to share in this necessary work of creating a world where all rights and freedoms are restored and protected. As a previous teen and incarcerated mom who grew up below the poverty line, I struggled to overcome barriers to access education and basic human rights. But as a child I watched my parents attend meetings at the schools and speak out on the difficult topics, modeling leadership for me and my six siblings, including my brother who was diagnosed with Autism in high school. This prepared my siblings and me to become first-generation college graduates, and it equipped me to advocate as the mother of five beautiful black children, four of whom are a part of our family by adoption via the foster system. I am most excited to see and be a part of the youth justice advocacy and anti-racist education work that Stand is doing to eliminate the school to prison pipeline and ensure not just access but supports and success for all children and families.” (Read more about Megan here)

Carolina Fuentes, Stand’s State Operations and Development Coordinator 

“Our education systems need improvement and that must start with ensuring black and brown communities have the needed resources to set students up for success. I joined Stand for Children because I want to improve accessibility to quality educational resources and spaces where children of color feel confident and supported.  I am a proud daughter of immigrant parents who came to this country to secure a better life for themselves and their children. Navigating the school system, I experienced a lack of support in obtaining what would have been helpful resources and mentors for my educational goals. However, I was lucky to have parents who taught me to fight for what I wanted and to be persistent in advocating for my needs, and most importantly made me feel like I was always worthy of the milestones I reached, even if I felt like I perhaps did not belong in the room at the time. Like many children who come from immigrant backgrounds, we often pave our own way and then help guide our parents, siblings, and families through what we have learned. It is not a burden; it’s how we demonstrate that we can all achieve success if someone just shows they care. I look forward to fighting alongside those students, communities, and educators who are here to remind our system-leaders and influencers that they exist, that they can be as successful, that they matter, and that they are the future.” (Read more about Carolina here)

We are grateful for Carolina and Megan for the leadership, expertise and passion they bring to the team.  

Thank you for Standing with us by participating in our first-ever GiveBIG campaign! 

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