When I first joined TCSA almost a year ago, I knew the best way to build a grassroots movement would be to connect with parents and families in various communities across the state. What I didn’t know was that in more than one way, public charter schools have changed the lives of so many families and students in Texas. Every week I have the opportunity to sit with parents from various schools to talk about the reasons they chose a public charter school and in every occasion parents never shy away from sharing in detail the many reasons choosing a local charter school has been the best decision they’ve made. These are families whose dreams are to see their kids succeed in school and graduate from college. After each meeting, I think about the similarities in all of these stories and the common thread amongst them. Parents want options when it comes to their child’s education and advocating for those options is our mission.

Most recently I spent a few hours with six high school students at KIPP Collegiate in Austin to talk about the many reasons they love their school and their goals for the future. Every single student named their dream profession and the university they applied to and in some cases had already been accepted to. Five out of those six students were first generation college students whose goal was to make their parents proud by graduating from college.

I often say my job is to make sure perception matches reality which is why I’m passionate about building a grassroots movement alongside all of you so that together we can empower parents to share what they already share with us. I want to make sure every elected official has had the chance to hear the same stories I’ve heard on the field.

Through these grassroots efforts this past year alone we’ve empowered hundreds of parents across the state to advocate for public school options for their children and connected these parents with their elected officials. But our work is far from over – and your collaboration is crucial to our work. Partner with us by joining TCSA and let’s make these options available for all students.