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|Full Biography for Lucille Prater-Holliday|
My personal background mirrors that of many of the residents of PPS District 1. The ninth of 10 children, I was raised in poverty in a single-female headed household, after living in Foster Care for over 10 years. I have also been a resident of low-income housing, and a welfare recipient. I was a textbook example of what these experiences produce. But it is because of the love and support I received throughout my education in the Pittsburgh Public Schools that my life lead me in a different direction, one of advocacy and social justice for others.
When I enrolled in Baxter Elementary School in Homewood in the fifth grade, Mrs. Garrison, the school Librarian, immediately recognized my love for reading, and asked me to stay after school and reshelve the books. I not only learned the Dewey Decimal System, but she also rewarded me by allowing me to take books home to read. The Principal, Mrs. Brevard, hung my painting of the continent of Africa outside of her office for all to see, which helped to build my self-esteem and break my of my shyness.
When I transferred to Westinghouse Jr/Sr. High School in the seventh grade, everyone there, from the Custodian to the Principal, worked very hard to ensure that every child had every chance to receive a quality education. I can remember when Mrs. Kyser, a Hall Monitor at Westinghouse and aware of my families struggles,invited me to her house for Thanksgiving Dinner. When I was in the ninth grade, my Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Penick, enrolled me in the Neighborhood Youth Corps (NYC) Student Work Program, which enabled me to earn money by working at the Alma Illery Health Center in Homewood after school. When she saw me struggling with math, she enrolled me in a turoting program on Frankstown Avenue in Homewood, and I received tutoring from Gail Austin, whose commitment to enhancing diversity, particularly regarding African American students at the University of Pittsburgh, led her to a 42 year career at the institution. Mrs. Penick later enrolled me in University of Pittsburgh's Upward Bound Program, where I had the opportunity to travel to colleges and universities across the country. She also personally delivered my financial aid paperwork to my house for my mother's signature, to ensure that I had an opportunity to achieve a college degree.
Students were treated with respect, because the school employees were cognizant of, and sensitive to the challenges we faced. We were rarely suspended, because they knew that if students were not in school, they were not learning, and we were never turned away for being tardy.
It is because of the determination of the people I have encountered throughout my PPS experience that I can state that I am a Proud Graduate of Westinghouse High School, and the first in my family to graduate from college. That is what can happen when parents, schools and communities work together!
As a result of my positive public school experiences, I have dedicated my life to improving the lives of others through advocacy for social justice. I am the recently separated President of Action United Pennsylvania, a social justice organization that works to improve the conditions of low-income people. I am also the former President of ACORN Pittsburgh, and I was the first African-American female to serve as Chair of the Wilkinsburg Civil Service Commission, where I served for over eight years.
I am the Host of "Community Insight" on PCTV, and the Founder of the Black Women's Empowerment Institute (BWEI), an organization designed to empower women, particularly African-American women, to be catalysts for change in their own lives, as well as the lives of others. The BWEI was the first to shed light on Clayton Academy on the North Side, a public school operated by a private for-profit company, which is often referred to as part of the "school to prison pipeline", by hosting a Town Hall Meeting which allowed residents to have an open dialogue with Clayton's administrators, as well as Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators and Board members.
When a meeting was held at Westinghouse High School to discuss changing the schools name, I organized a phone in campaign to the Superintendent with the 50+ alumni outside of the school who were not permitted to attend the meeting.
In 2012, I organized Homewood Opposed to Outside Development (HOOD),to prevent large Developers from building in Homewood without guaranteeing community benefits.
As recently as April 17, 2013, the BWEI hosted a Community Meeting in Homewood to address a recent spate of shootings, one of which also involved a Pittsburgh Police Officer.
I have also served on the Homewood YMCA Board of Directors, and currently am a Board member at Freedom Unlimited in the Hill District. I am active with several social justice organizations, including Pittsburgh UNITED and MoveOn Pittsburgh.
My past community involvement includes the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Education Task Force;Shadyside Boys and Girls Club After-School Program; Schenley High School Science and Technology Committee;Homewood Athletic Association; Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Safe Neighborhood Cabinet; Community Organizer for Pittsburgh UNITED's "Stop the Guns" Campaign; Mon Valley Peoples Action Committee; Wilkinsburg Athletic Association; Homewood Brushton Community Improvement Association (HBCIA),Homewood-Brushton Revitalization and Development Corporation (HBRDC), "The New Informer";Renaissance Publications Black Extravaganza and Trailblazer Awards; Pittsburgh NAACP Labor and Industry Committee;Beltzhoover YouthPlaces Planning Committee; Beltzhoover Neighborhood Council (BNC); Pittsburgh UNITED "Get Out The Vote" Campaign; Champion Enterprises, Inc., Five Star Corporation; City of Pittsburgh Citizens Police Academy; and the Garfield YMCA Summer Day Camp;
I am a resident of Homewood, the mother of two sons and Grandmother of two Grandsons. I have been actively involved in my children's education since they entered Kindergarten, and am now active in my Grandsons education as well.
It is my responsibility to ensure that every child has every chance to receive a quality education. I have a proven track record that shows my commitment and dedication to bringing this to fruition, and am a living testimony to what can happen when parents, schools and communities work together.I experienced it, and as your PPS School Board District 1 representative, I will actively work to empower students, families, teachers and administrators, and the community by creating Community Schools as centers of the community, and develop community partnerships which support each entity in providing reciprocal learning, inspiration, engagement and service, while giving them a voice in the School Board's decision making. On May 21, 2013, vote for Lucille Prater-Holliday for School Board District 1 to ensure that every child has every chance to receive a quality education. Thank you.
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May 2013 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter
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Created from information supplied by the candidate: April 23, 2013 07:34
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