I hope the start of the school year is going well for you and your family. The communities of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and others in hurricane Fiona’s path are in our thoughts as climate catastrophes continue to devastate frontline communities across the globe. These emergencies bring to light the inequity of who causes climate disasters and who is most affected by them. At EcoRise, a belief that education can transform inequitable systems is what drives our mission. We support educators and youth with resources to bring their dreams of a better world to life. If you haven’t seen it yet, I invite you to take a look at our recently released Impact Report to explore examples of this work in action from last school year.
I’ve always appreciated how changing seasons allow us to take a brief pause to reflect, reset, and create space for energetic growth and new opportunities. In that spirit, EcoRise is excited to launch into this school year with new faces and fresh ideas across our team. We are thrilled to welcome Heather Hairston as our newest Board Chair. Heather, the Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, has been an EcoRise board member since 2020 and worked directly with EcoRise when she was Principal of C. W. Harris Elementary in DC Public Schools from 2014–2020. She is joined by Jean Tien, an Executive Director at Mizuho and intuitive mindset coach, as our newest board Secretary. You can learn more about Heather and Jean here.
On the program side of the organization, we are celebrating the arrival of two new staff members! Anel Torres, who worked with us as a contractor, joins EcoRise as our new Curriculum Manager. She brings with her a decade of experience in education, including being a 4th-grade teacher and instructional specialist for Compton Unified School District. Brynn Johnson joins EcoRise as our new Gulf Coast Program Manager. She comes to us with 15 years of education experience, most recently teaching science and human geography in New Orleans. Learn more about Anel and Brynn here. Last, but certainly not least, we are stoked to introduce you to our newest cohort of EcoRise Teacher Fellows and Teacher Ambassadors, who are teacher leaders representing 11 regions across the country.
We are entering fall with abundant hope that schools, students, and teachers will have a year of less disruption and more space for connection, community, and growth ahead. It’s going to be a powerful year! We’d like to thank you for being a partner in our work. A donation of any amount allows EcoRise to continue to grow our programs across the nation. Consider harnessing your back-to-school spirit with a gift today.