BR Alliance for Students logo

Alliance Launch by our founder

I’m excited to announce the start of the next chapter in my professional story as I step into a new role as CEO of the Baton Rouge Alliance for Students. In founding this organization, my goal is to help drive Baton Rouge toward a future in which parents, community and policymakers partner to achieve the shared goal of an excellent education for every Baton Rouge student. At the Alliance, we seek to empower families, elevate community, and engage leaders.I am honored to be joined by a team of professionals with a shared commitment to Baton Rouge’s students and the future of our city. I will be joined on the founding Baton Rouge Alliance for Students team by Chief Strategy Officer Liz Smith, Family Engagement Manager Aretha Veal and Strategic Communications Associate Anthony B. Kenney. Our goal is to bring a uniquely Baton Rouge approach to our role in moving Baton Rouge’s schools forward.I have spent the last 18 years of my career focused on public school students, families and stakeholders. I believe those experiences have been the building blocks that have helped shape my perspective and led me to this moment. I have always been proud of the fact that I attended k-12 in EBR public schools, and I am grateful that my EBR education opened doors of opportunity for me that I could not have imagined. Despite never envisioning this as my path, sometimes your destiny is inescapable. I come from a family of educators, the daughter of a retired public school teacher, and ours is a family story like so many others whose trajectory was dramatically impacted by access to quality education. But, I believe you shouldn’t have to be lucky enough to be born into the right family to access a great education. That is the core of the Alliance’s work. I believe that each of us has a purpose, and that the goal of education is to equip us with the tools to unlock the unique gifts we have to share with the world. I am a believer in the innate greatness of all children, and I am committed to our collective responsibility to ensure that every child has the chance to reach their God-given potential. As they say, talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. We must work to close the opportunity gap.Baton Rouge, like nearly every city, must acknowledge vestiges of its history of segregation and the impact of that legacy on educational options for our students. Families with means continue to access the best school offerings in the city, and while I will never begrudge them that opportunity, we need more of those opportunities to go around for all students regardless of income, race or geography. My daily goal is to amplify and respect the voice of families through real engagement and thoughtful conversation. Quality public education opportunities are vital to the growth of any community. The future of Baton Rouge is inextricably linked to equitable access to a great education for all of our students. Let’s get to work, Baton Rouge.