Xiomara Batin joined our Parent Partner Program in August as a Parent Engagement Coordinator of the African-American Family Initiative at Mission Graduates. As an organization who has historically focused on the Latinx community, we recognized the need to expand to include African-American families in the Mission. As our program expands, we are grateful for the tremendous work Xiomara has passionately led.
Yvonne Dunkley is a parent at Everett Middle and is Mission Graduates’ first parent leader supporting African American Family Engagement. Already an active parent—Yvonne has been an active member of the AAPAC (African American Parent Advisory Committee) and PTSA (Parent, Teacher & Student Association) and a regular participant at SSC (School Site Council) meetings at Everett. Yvonne’s many parent engagement commitments as she works full time and takes care of her parents, while also raising her middle school student Samantha. We have reduced the amount of hours and responsibilities typically included in the job description for Latinx Parent Leaders.
As a result, Yvonne’s tasks are largely centered around making outreach phone calls, planning events and attending parent meetings at Everett representing AAPAC and Mission Graduates. As we continue to grow our African American Family Engagement work, we will identify new roles and ways to support our African American Parent Leaders.
Together Xiomara and Yvonne have worked to spread the word about the AAPAC at the school and had 1-on-1 conversations with individual parents and community members to understand their needs and promote a sense of hope about family engagement continuing to improve at the school. This work has started to pay off, with participation in the AAPAC meetings at Everett increasing from last year and more visibility and awareness within the school community about the AAPAC and the needs and interests of African American families.