As we enter the start of the holiday season, we want to celebrate members our education community. From the families who join together late on a cold night to learn about what they can do to improve their schools to the teachers who commit extra time with a child to help her succeed, there are so many people who have empowered our work to secure a quality education for children everywhere.
We are #ThankfulFor all of these individuals – the parents, teachers, elected officials, community leaders, and other supporters who joined efforts to improve schools for students in New York and across the country. To recognize their commitment, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, members of the StudentsFirstNY community are sharing the people in their lives who they are #ThankfulFor this year.
Kicking off the series are Asia Thomas and Nina Doster, two of the tireless and dedicated StudentsFirstNY organizers who serve communities in New York City. Below, they share two members of their communities who inspire the work they do. #ThankfulFor
#ThankfulFor Marcya Knight, Committed Sister and Activist
By Asia Thomas
There are many reasons why Marcya Knight inspires me, but if I had to pick one, I would say it’s her dedication to improving the quality of education for her little brother. Marcya realized at an early age that she was not getting a decent education. In elementary school, Marcya’s class would go weeks without a teacher in the classroom – the students would just sit idle in the auditorium. Marcya did attend college for one year, but she realized she hadn’t been academically prepared, and left. Marcya has dedicated almost all of her time to help her brother and finding different reading programs to help improve his literacy. She also attends college fairs and other mentor groups with him. She is determined to have her brother be the first member of their family to graduate from college.
Marcya is also working to ensure others families have access to quality teachers, great schools, and opportunity. As a canvasser with StudentsFirstNY, Marcya delivers on the idea that there is power in numbers. Everyday, rain, sleet, or snow, she hits the pavement getting more and more people to join the fight. Personally and professionally, her dedication to improving education has and will always inspire me, and I’m so #ThankfulFor her commitment.
#ThankfulFor Au Hogan, Parent Leader
By: Nina Doster
Mr. Hogan has impacted my life by standing up for his community as an active parent leader. He always makes sure that the Baisley Park community in Jamaica, Queens is a family setting and not just a housing complex. He inspires the work that I do by encouraging and supporting our parent chapter, whether it’s meeting with other families in the community or speaking at rallies on the steps of City Hall. His powerful and passionate talks always move the audience and inspires all of us to do more to advance access to a quality education for all students. He makes you want to stand up and make history with him. I’m #thankful for Mr. Hogan, and I stand with him and all of the parents in our community.
StudentsFirstNY is New York's leading voice for students who depend on public education for the skills they need to succeed, but who are too often failed by a system that puts special interests, rather than the interests of children, first. Join us in celebrating the people in your life that have inspired you to seek and fight for a better world. Tweet at us @StudentsFirstNY, follow @StudentsFirstNY on Instagram, and tell us who you are #ThankfulFor this year.