We recently welcomed a number of new board members to our Easterseals Serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford (ESCGR) Board. We want to give you a better sense of who they are and why they serve. In this post, we spoke with Kamilar Moore who is a certified nursing assistant with over 20 years of experience, as well as the parent of two children who graduated from Head Start early learning services. We spoke with her about why having a parent representative on the Board is so important and how she hopes to make an impact.
How did you get involved with Easterseals Serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford?
My involvement with Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford started as a parent 20 years ago. My son and daughter both attended an early childhood program (Head Start) now operated by ESCGR in our hometown of Maywood, Illinois. That program prepared both of my children for kindergarten. I feel like, in many ways, they entered ahead of the game because of the quality of learning they received.
Your involvement started as a parent and then it started to expand. Can you tell me more about that?
Around 2017, I got involved with the Easterseals Head Start Policy Council, which is a group of Head Start parents, community members, and stakeholders who discuss and advise on issues related to the Easterseals Head Start/Early Head Start centers and partner sites.
When I first started attending meetings, I tended to take a backseat and be quiet. Gradually, I started leaving little notes or giving suggestions based on my experience as a CNA working in a hospital and interacting with different people from all walks of life. When I started to advocate, my voice was heard and respected, and I was asked to join the Policy Council as a member. ESCGR really pushed me to find and use my voice. Then, my role expanded even more when I was approached to be a member of the ESCGR Board of Directors as a parent representative.
“As a parent, I know exactly what we are fighting for.”
Why do you think the parent perspective on the Board is important?
I think it’s valuable because, as a parent, I know exactly what we are fighting for. You can see statistics and facts and figures, but to actually live the struggles of the people ESCGR serves gives parents special and valuable insights. We know what it means to struggle to find services for our children. We see other families struggle to put food on the table. We are the faces of who ESCGR serves; parent representatives bring that face to the Board and the decision-making table.
How do you hope to make an impact as a new board member?
My involvement on the Board is powerful because I get to give back after ESCGR has given me and my children so much. I want to be a real representation and realization of ESGR’s mission and vision, and I want to be a positive vessel for whatever ESCGR needs to succeed.