When I was appointed to the Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees, I believed I had a strong opportunity of being selected. I was confident, but not arrogant. My competition was a field of leaders which I respected. I was confident in part, due to the fact that I was a first generation graduate of Alamo Colleges, who had spent nearly ten years (3 terms) as an elected official on the Board of Trustees for Judson ISD, and most importantly, understood firsthand how powerful education could be in transforming lives. I am who I am today as a result of my education at Alamo Colleges.
In my early twenties I dreamed – hoped – that one day I would earn the opportunity to serve on the Board of Alamo Colleges. However, the timing was not right, and apparently God had other plans for me. Notably, work as a Board member of Judson ISD. I learned a great deal about school board governance and leadership during my time there. I represented my district attending over 200 Board meetings, 10 budgetary processes, and participated in thousands of community events. In hindsight, I realize how important these collective experiences were in preparing me for this opportunity to represent district 2.
During my first five months, I have worked tirelessly to meet with community members and create a vision of district 2 that will propel our community well into the future. However, there has been one prevailing notion that has hit me from time to time. The premise of this notion is centered on my ability, or perhaps inability, to represent the African American community.
I do understand the concern and it is valid. For perspective, this is not a universally accepted notion, and I have earned strong support from African Americans across District 2. However, there are some in this district who are not convinced. That is who I am addressing here today.
As your representative on the Alamo Colleges District Board, it is my job to ensure that my community is invited and present at the table as we work together to improve our community. My effort to establish an African American Studies program to empower students of color is one way I believe we can change the despair and poverty plaguing our community. I am also working to establish greater diversity with our business partners and working to ensure that we increase enrollment of students of color across Bexar County.
I take my responsibility seriously, and as a result, I have pledged to make myself accessible to anyone (and everyone) in district 2 who would like to speak or visit with me to talk, collaborate, or help move our community forward. I cannot do it alone.
As a Trustee of Judson ISD, I represented a community that was 30% African American and I successfully won three elections. I am proud of my record of inclusion and diversity and representing the values of my community. That is the essence of effective elected representation. I am a results driven individual. Last week, I was blessed with an encounter that further reassured me that I was on the right path.
A young African American woman approached me at a local gas station. She recognized me and walked up to me and said to me,
“Keep doing what you’re doing, you have much more support for the changes you are bringing than you know.” She continued to tell me that she did not care if I was PINK. “All that matters is that our community see results.”
I can’t remember how many times I thanked her.
I have the desire to create a stronger community built on educational attainment for those who have been under-served, underrepresented, and ignored for generations. I vow to fight every single day for District 2. Education is the key. We do not have time for empty promises. It is time to see changes and time to break generations of poverty.