Project Director – Ms. Elsa Jones

Why Freedom School?

I am a blessed and proud daughter of the Civil Rights Movement. I have known the mission, projects, and tremendous advocacy work of the Children’s Defense Fund since 1981 when I interned at the national office in Washington, D.C.. In 2016, I was honored to have been asked to be the Project Director of the Big League Freedom School by Mrs. Iris Hope Rich, recently retired, phenomenal Executive Director of the Women’s League. It is a privilege to serve in the Freedom School Movement for a second year! I hope all 50 Scholars enjoy every Freedom School day and return to school with greater confidence about who they are, their potential, and that they can truly make a difference. I want Labi Siffre’s song “Something Inside So Strong” to motivate and strengthen them throughout their education and lives.

Site Coordinator – Chris Fleming

Why Freedom School?

I understand the importance of fostering a child’s ability to succeed. I’ve served with Freedom Schools since 2012. Overall, I love youth, art, education and policy. In my next steps I hope to create a comprehensive organization that will foster art, education, community and political advocacy for all citizens.

Assistant Site Coordinator – Rachel Aviles

Why Freedom School?

I chose Freedom School because I love the “hypeness” and energy brought to learning. The core of the program is intentionally planned and executed in every portion of our program. Last year I got a small taste of all the possibilities, and I came back to learn more, do more, and teach more. I’m amazed by the strength in our community dedicated to the education of children. I absolutely love learning with children, especially our scholars.

Level One Servant Leader Intern – Rebecca Harmon

Why Freedom School?

I chose to be part of Freedom School because I like the pedagogy of the program. I’ve been in way too many classrooms where 90% of the students are below reading level and just get passed through the system. The Freedom School program is effective in getting students to enjoy reading which then builds their literacy skills and shows them the importance of reading. They’re also reading culturally appropriate books that relate to their own live

Level One Servant Leader Intern – Brenden Gamble

Why Freedom School?

I want to make sure that our kids receive the love and support they need through education. I want to use education to help scholars build strong character thus grow up knowing they can make a difference in their generation. My experience from last year helped me see that I really love to teach and being around kids is what I want to do. Seeing the growth from the beginning to end really motivated me to come back and continue to help build that support system and self-confidence for young scholars. I hope to continue that with returning scholars and begin it with new scholars. We’ll be shooting for the stars in Mr. Gamble’s class with no recoil

Level One Servant Leader Intern – Arun Narikatte

Why Freedom School?

I chose Freedom School because I feel like I have a particular skill set with STEM. One way I can give back to the community is to use this skill set that is limited. I want to model and spark interest in science for my scholars in hopes that if they are interested or have a strength, they are empowered to follow that. Also, as a kid I was part of ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, and had a difficult time adjusting when I was younger. Watching those around me reading and loving to read inspired me to read. This turned into a safe habit I could practice when I was feeling anxious or bored. I truly believe reading is essential in everything that you do and we need to bridge the gap in reading because our kids are falling through the system.

Level Two Servant Leader Intern – Traylon Butler

Why Freedom School?

I chose Freedom School because I strongly support the idea of children receiving the proper education. Children are our future which is why it is our job to help enrich their minds with knowledge. I enjoyed my first year experience and knew that this was a movement I wanted to be a part of and contribute to its growth.

Level Two Servant Leader Intern – Brittany Moody

Why Freedom School?

I believe that children are the future and oftentimes things that are necessities like work sometimes distract us from our children’s education. I grew up without a Freedom School so I know the struggle to fight for our rights. I want to advocate for the kids the way I wish someone had advocated for me.

Junior Servant Leader Intern (Volunteer) – Cecelia

Why Freedom School?

This is my second year volunteering with the Big League Freedom School program. I am an 8th grader who is passionate about learning more about the Freedom School movement and history. I love working with the scholars everyday, getting to know them more and more.