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DC School Reform Now is educating, organizing and advocating to build support for public education strategies that prepare kids to become college and career ready.

Meet Tiara Powers, DCSRN Parent



The quality rating of the school Blake would have attended without DCSRN’s intervention.

The quality rating of the school Blake will now attend because of DCSRN’s intervention.


Tiara Powers and her son Blake, a rising kindergartner, live in Ward 8. Tiara currently works as an assistant at a hair salon, where she works long hours with little flexibility. Bright and curious, Tiara new that she wanted Blake to attend an elementary school that would give him the best education possible, where he would be challenged academically while being surrounded by diversity. Tiara was thrilled when she was contacted by her parent advocate, who was able to explain the lottery application process and identify the best schools for Blake, all on her schedule.

Completing Blake’s lottery application was truly a team effort. Tiara’s advocate called her numerous times, and Tiara appreciated the information she got from her advocate, as well as the frequent reminders to stay on top of deadlines. When the lottery results were released, she also requested that a call be placed to Blake’s grandmother, who has an active role in her grandson’s life. Tiara stated that she truly needed DCSRN’s support and resources; she is currently working later at the hair salon, and days become so busy that she loses track of time. Her parent advocate became a true asset because she did not want her work schedule to cause Blake to miss any opportunities.

“DCSRN made my son’s education a priority.”

When the lottery results arrived, the family was excited that Blake had options. In addition to receiving an offer from Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS, he also got an offer from Early Childhood Academy PCS. After speaking with the principals from both schools about class size, as well as a variety of other issues, the family considered Mary McLeod Bethune to be the best fit for Blake, and completed enrollment.

The family is excited that Mary McLeod Bethune has a Spanish language immersion program, and are already getting a head start by practicing Spanish together at home and in the car. Tiara has been letting her son watch shows only in Spanish with English subtitles, and when his grandmother takes care of him during the week, Blake listens to Spanish CDs and practices Spanish games on a tablet. “We want him to know something going into a new environment,” says Tiara. “Right now, he can count up to six in Spanish!”

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