by Latasha "Tash" Lane
Manager of Engagement and Communications
Mona Lovett, who is the President and CEO of Crosby Scholars, joined The Forsyth Promise Executive Advisory Board in September 2014. She recently sat down with Tash Lane to share her perspective about The Forsyth Promise and her involvement.
What attracted you to The Forsyth Promise Executive Advisory Board and moved you to accept the call to Co-Chair?
I initially became involved when I attended the StriveTogether – Cradle to Career kickoff meeting and was very involved with the post-secondary Action Network. I later became an at-large member of the Executive Advisory Board.
TFP was getting off the ground, I saw initially how TFP really tried to bring different voices around the table to galvanize people around common issues that the group believed were needed in order to move the community forward, which was really important to me.
Additionally, Crosby Scholars, who works with students in 6th grade and up, benefits by knowing what’s happening along all spectrums of cradle to career to make sure that our work is impactful.
Overall, I wanted to hear where our community was, what we were going to do to support our young people to help them have the best possible education.
Becoming EAB co-chair made sense since I have the historical perspective and excitement about TFP being able to work with StriveTogether, support the Data Sharing Project and thought that I could help in a different capacity.
With regard to our community, how important is a partnership like The Forsyth Promise?
For me and especially with the work that Crosby Scholars does having that cradle to career view of the impacts at different levels – education, family, community resources, lived experiences, etc. – and from a broad perspective helps inform the work Crosby Scholars does so that students are experiencing the life that they envision for themselves.
Additionally, for us, The Forsyth Promise as a collaborative group offers resources, information, and opportunities to hear updates and share perspectives that can be used to engage and empower. When we are looking at community needs, Crosby Scholars references the community reports provided by TFP to inform our work as we identify emerging issues and determine next steps.
The Data Sharing Project is also important because it provides a one-stop, streamlined access to student information. Additionally, the evaluation services help us with collecting data and asking the right types of questions.
Moreover, Crosby Scholars is involved because we partner with TFP to inform our work and to engage in a meaningful way.
The logo for The Forsyth Promise includes a dandelion. How significant is that symbol when considering TFP’s mission and vision?
One of the things I think about and am concerned about is the amount of talent being left on the table when a student’s education path is predetermined. With regard to the dandelion, we don’t want students to simply wish about their future. They should have the choice to experience the BEST education possible and be in a community that supports students and wants them to thrive.
It should be a choice. We can’t afford to leave too much talent on the table. We should be able to guarantee that everybody has the education that they need to achieve what they want to achieve in life. This perspective fuels my passion for this work.
What is your favorite quote/expression that inspires you daily?
My mother is the source of my inspiration who shared real-world knowledge and perspectives that helped me to build my self-confidence, broaden my leadership skills and helped me realize that I didn’t have to be perfect, but that it’s okay to give it a shot! She also instilled in me the “why NOT me” attitude. Faith, connecting to people, and making good decisions are very important. And a lot of her ‘home-spun’ wisdom helped shape who I am and what I do.
Anything you’d like to share in general about The Forsyth Promise and/or the work?
I think that now is a prime time to share more of what The Forsyth Promise is all about. Help people understand, get more meaningful voices and people with different perspectives involved and connected to move the community forward.
There are a lot of things that have worked well because of The Forsyth Promise and it’s important that TFP remains current and relevant in our community.
As such, I want to extend an invitation for more people, more voices to learn about The Forsyth Promise: get involved, and understand how collective impact works to bring people together to move things forward.
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