Volunteer Spotlight: Angelica Cooks Lucas - 63 Magazine
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Volunteer Spotlight: Angelica Cooks Lucas

03 Nov Volunteer Spotlight: Angelica Cooks Lucas

Volunteer Spotlight: Angelica Cooks Lucas

Organization: Project Renaissance Nashville Rise

City: Nashville, TN

What Makes This Volunteer Special:

With eight children currently attending public schools in Nashville, Angelica has been volunteering with the public school system for 10 years. As a school system volunteer, she’s worked in many different roles to support teachers and parents while also advocating for new and improved services.

Ariba Qureshi, a Nashville Rise organizer, saw Angelica’s commitment and drive to improve schools for her children and knew she would be a perfect parent captain. Nashville Rise is a parent-led coalition aimed at empowering parents through training and leadership development, collaborating to influence and increase high-quality schools for children in all of Davidson County.

As a parent captain, Angelica has been able to participate in and recruit for transformative seminars with other parents and school officials, giving parents an opportunity to learn about and advocate for programs and services to make their children’s schools more effective.

“With half of my children attending Title I and/or Priority/Focus schools, I have to ensure my children are receiving the same level of education, access to resources, and have qualified educators, as any other child who lives in a different zip code. My wish was to align myself with individuals who have the same passion and drive that I have in ensuring no matter the demographics, background, or circumstances, all children would receive quality education and wrap-around services.”

Nashville Rise is a relatively new organization that started work in late 2015 and Angelica has been with them from the beginning. Angelica and other parents have worked together to create the Nashville Rise mission—a mission that creates opportunities for parent civic engagement. This past summer, she worked with Ariba and other parents to lead a large community forum informing parents about the school board election while bringing candidates directly to them.

“Everything parents have shared that they wanted to know more about—even if it’s just different types of schools, or where to register to vote, or concerns about getting school supplies—Nashville Rise always meets the parents where they are and tries its best to give them the resources and information that they need to equip them to make that great choice.”

Nashville Rise is lucky to have Angelica and other parents like her who dedicate so much time and effort to improving their children’s schools. It’s quality volunteers like Angelica that make organizing success possible.


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