The Rapidian

Encouraging young professionals to invest in the future of the educational system

During an event organized by BL2END, Superintendent of GRPS Teresa Weatherall Neal encourages young professionals to be part of the conversation in advocating for better education.

/Chelsie Wyse

/Chelsie Wyse

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Teresa Weatherall Neal, Superintendent of GRPS, was the special guest for the event organized by the non profit organizations, Grand Rapids Young Professionals, Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions (BL2END), and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids (YNPN) last Thursday, February 20 at Harrison Park School. The event was designed to inspire young professionals of the area to invest their ideas, time and skills in the public schools of Grand Rapids.

Superintendent Neal discussed the importance of having a district of choice because "it encourages the parents and family members of students to invest in the education of the public school system."

“I want to give you all the opportunity to get involved in enhancing the public school(s) of your area," Neal said. "Help us create the school you want your children to go to.”

According to the statistics shared by Neal, 86% of the students attending GRPS are experiencing poverty. Despite these numbers, Harrison Park School is a prime example of the way organizations, citizens and families can collaborate to offer the best possible education for the children of the neighborhood.

“I want to give you guys a chance to change your neighborhood school," Neal said. "Let’s reinvent education for the sake of the future of the city.”

To end her presentation Neal invited the young professionals attending the event to engage in a dialogue by asking questions. One of the attendees, Greg Peacock, Professional Development Chair of BL2END, inquired on the available ways those involved have of diversifying the culture in the schools while developing an environment of inclusivity.

“The public schools of Grand Rapids offer a variety of education for each student," Neal said. "All the children have the privilege of receiving the best education in the district and it is important for the parents to invest in the neighborhood schools despite the cultural differences among the students. Offering an excellent education is one of the ways our students have out of poverty. We will be able to advance if the members invested in the community come together in improving it."

Superintendent Weatherall Neal applauded the participants of the event in taking the step to engage in dialogue and encouraged them to become involved in the education of the city.

 

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