CHAMPION OF CHILDREN:

SCHOOL BOARD & CITY COUNCIL

Byron Amos

Byron Amos

Atlanta Board of Education District 2

“If we begin at birth and continue through higher education, families can build a foundation where they have roots and can create prosperity for generations to come.”

Click here to learn what make Byron Amos a champion of children.

Erika Y. Mitchell

Erika Y. Mitchell

Atlanta Board of Education District 5

“In addition to emotional and social growth, [early learning] helps improve kids’ literacy, which in turn helps them read on grade level in elementary school, which in turn helps ensure they will graduate on time.”

Click here to learn what makes Erika Mitchell a champion of children.

Matt Westmoreland

Matt Westmoreland

Atlanta City Council At-Large Post 2

“Every child in Atlanta should get a baby box full of diapers and clothes and books, every family should have the opportunity to work with home visiting programs, and there should be universal access to high-quality early learning for three- and four-year-olds.”

Click here to learn what makes Matt Westmoreland a champion of children.

CHAMPION OF CHILDREN:

MILLENNIALS

Jostin Grimes

Jostin Grimes

Elementary School Teacher

“As a city with a large gap in economic inequality, Atlantans must nurture and educate the individuals who will be the future illuminators in our communities.”

A native of Gordon, GA, Jostin was exposed to reading at an early age, both by educators in his family and at the Head Start program he attended. Jostin recently graduated from Morehouse College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Educational Studies. His passion for education was furthered by working with students at both Fickett Elementary in Southwest Atlanta and Breakthrough Collaborative in Miami. Jostin will enter the classroom this fall at KIPP Visions Primary in East Point, GA as a third grade instructor.

Jostin’s interest in early childhood development was sparked last year when he worked with the Institute for Child Success in Greenville, SC as a summer fellow for the Southern Education Foundation. While at ICS, Jostin worked on blogs and policy briefs about child brain development, welfare, and the history of Head Start. Through this experience, he learned the foundation for a sound and holistic early childhood education requires a close theoretical and practical lense that seeks to uncover the disparities that affect marginalized groups in America. Understanding this framework will allow educators and advocates to shift the paradigm of early education and care programs in order to provide the best for young children.

Jacob Friessen

Jacob Friessen

Middle School Teacher

“If Atlanta truly wants to give all students the support they need to succeed, we must provide rich learning experiences during the first four years of life to the children most affected by poverty and high levels of stress.”

Jacob was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he attended public school, played Varsity basketball and lacrosse, and volunteered with the Youth Entrepreneurs of Atlanta. During Jacob’s senior year at Grady High School, he was blessed to receive the Posse Scholarship. As a Posse Scholar at Syracuse University, he co-founded Project GRIND (Greatness Resides In Non-stop Dedication), a youth empowerment program focused on raising confident, competent and compassionate scholars through weekly tutoring and holistic workshops in the Syracuse City School District.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a major in Broadcast Digital Journalism and minor in Finance, Jacob has pursued his passion for education by teaching middle school math in Atlanta Public Schools through Teach for America. He also serves as a co-chair on the policy committee of One Atlanta, an organization committed to achieving educational equity for all students. His interest in early childhood development stems from his memories of his mother reading to him as a child. Jacob knows if it wasn’t for her purposeful use of books as incentives, he would have never grown to become the scholar that he is today.

David Suitts

David Suitts

High School Teacher

“Providing families with the resources they need to raise healthy, inquisitive children is something Atlanta must do now – our kids are our future.”

Growing up, David attended quality home and center-based care programs in intown Atlanta. A proud Atlanta Public Schools and University of North Carolina graduate, he began his teaching career at the Children of Faith Camp in New Orleans in the summer of 2006, teaching beaucoup phonics to kindergarteners in in the shadow of the Super Dome.

After two years working at an international school in the Dominican Republic and then earning his M.A.T. at Emory University, David taught at Charlottesville High School in Virginia for four years. While there, he helped establish the Unleveled English program, classes promoting individualized learning and community that brought together previously separated students. His passion for funding early childhood programs was ignited when he returned home to find the wealth of child development expertise of many Atlanta-based organization.

Kristy Cook

Kristy Cook

Preservice Early Childhood Educator

“A strong early learning foundation can spell the success or failure of a student’s educational career. The current issues with underperforming schools point directly to necessity for quality early childhood development experiences.”

Kristy Cook is a native of southeast Atlanta currently pursuing a B.S. in Education with a minor in psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College. She has served as a legislative aide at the Georgia General Assembly, worked at a DECAL-certified child care center, and managed multiple community-focused conferences and events.

Kristy’s motivation to change the landscape of early childhood development is driven by her own upbringing: as a young child, she attended South Atlanta Learning Center. Later, as a student in Clayton County Schools, she witnessed first-hand how the lack of a solid educational foundation in the early years negatively impacted some of her peers. Kristy is excited to work with partner organizations through Unite for Kids Atlanta to ensure every child has access to the best education possible.

Chanse Pryor

Chanse Pryor

Social Justice Videographer

“Everyone deserves an education that not only teaches them about the wonders of the world, but also the wonders of themselves.”

Chanse began her film career at fifteen, when she started taking college-level film courses through a college prep program. Her African American Cinema course led her to Clark Atlanta University as a mass media major. Chanse takes particular interest in social, cultural, and political films, and recently won the Silver Tripod Award for Best Story in the AUC Campus Moviefest, writing and directing “Easy Pickings,” a short film about rezoning and privatizing public school districts.

Chanse is also passionate about education and has five years of experiences working with kids of all ages, from nannying to tutoring to teaching gymnastics. She loves hearing kids describe the world around them and seeing the wonder in their eyes when they learn new ways to do things. Originally from Silicon Valley, Chanse’s own early education included both public schooling and private programs. She looks forward to using her skills managing social media and producing video content to ensure all families have the resources they need to raise healthy, vibrant children in Atlanta.

Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith

College Student

“Investing in young children’s education and development is investing in a  better future for our city.”

A graduate of Charles R. Drew Charter High School’s initial class, Caleb began his freelance photography and videography work over three years ago. His work attempts to shed light on major social issues and their solutions.

In the fall, Caleb will matriculate to Bethune Cookman University on a full tuition scholarship to study Mass Communications with a focus in Production Technology. After college, he plans to pursue a career in cinematography and directing and hopes to own his own production company. As the son of an early education teacher, Caleb’s own early education was a top priority and a big part of his later academic achievement. Caleb is excited to use his experience with Unite for Kids Atlanta to help kids get the support he received so that their futures are bright.

VISIT

715 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 2018
Atlanta, GA 30308

CONTACT US

info@uniteforkidsatl.com