Casey Atlanta Civic Site: Two-Generation Success
Shondra Carter is an active community leader and the dedicated mother of four children, Dorian, 16, Angel, 12, Destiny, 7, and Anaya, 4. She is committed to supporting her children’s education and is actively involved in each of their schools.
A Leader in Her Children’s Schools
As president of the Parent-Teacher Association at Dunbar Elementary, she re-energized the PTA and is increasing parent engagement. She is also active in the PTA at Parks Middle and serves on the PTA’s Communications Committee at the Early College at the New Schools at Carver. Her youngest child is enrolled at the Early Learning and Literacy Resource Center (ELLRC) where Carter is involved in both the Parent Leadership Organization and the iMoms Program.
“My children are all in great learning environments,” she shares. “I love how the teachers are involved…. That is important for me as a parent.”
Benefitting Other Children through Her JobAs Program Coordinator for K-12 Outreach at Georgia Tech’s Office of Government and Community Relations, Carter is responsible for establishing partnerships with area schools and other programs, filling resource requests from schools and area organizations and connecting student and school groups with volunteer activities. “I have connected with Dunbar and the new principal, Karen Brown-Collier, has been open to partnering,” explains Carter.”We have the same goals and focus. Whatever is best for the kids – that is what we want as parents, the community, teachers and leaders.
Building Security through Finance and EducationWhile she stays busy preparing her children for success in life, Carter is also taking full advantage of the services provided by The Center for Working Families, Inc. (TCWFI) to ensure financial security and stability for her family. She knows well how tenuous such security can be. She was laid off from a previous job in 2004 because of funding cuts. She was hired as a temporary employee by Georgia Tech 11 months later but, by that time, she and her family were homeless. Her temporary position eventually became fulltime again and, after several promotions, she secured her current position three years ago.
Her financial struggles during unemployment damaged her credit score and she is working closely with TCWFI to challenge and address the issues on her report. She hopes that a better credit score will enable her and her family to move into a better home. She has talked with TCWFI staff about the housing opportunities being offered through the Partnership for the Preservation of Pittsburgh because she is dissatisfied with the quality and cost of her current apartment.
TCWFI also connected her with the ELLRC where her 4-year old daughter is enrolled. Previously, she was paying her mother to watch her daughter so the subsidized care is helping her to save for the future while building her daughter’s skills. She will be ready for Kindergarten next year,” Carter says. “This is a win-win for my child and my family. It enables me to work and not be worried. The ELLRC takes the stress and strain off of parents.”