Brenda Roshell is a faithful participant at COA’s Goldin Center who has lived in the Amani neighborhood for over 42 years. She is dedicated to strengthening the Amani community where she grew up, and is currently raising four of her grandchildren while working fulltime. Before the Burke Early Education Center (EEC) opened last summer, Brenda and her family interacted with COA through active participation at Community Fun Nights and other COA events throughout the year. She attended COA’s Empowering Families Conference last spring, and was filled with excitement about all of the new efforts taking place in her Amani community.
Brenda has been involved in the Burke Early Education Center from the beginning when it opened last August, and her granddaughter has been attending since September 2015. Brenda played an important role in opening the new early education center center by attending focus groups and assisting with the development of the program’s foundation. Brenda was even one of COA’s first Parent Ambassadors of the Burke EEC, continuously bringing her deep insight to the Parent Advisory Committee. Her focus and understanding of the community has been tremendously helpful to COA’s efforts in ensuring that the programming and resources we provide are reflective and responsive to the unique needs of the Amani community. Her commitment also extends to her service as a Parent Coordinator at Gwen T. Jackson, a community school within Amani, where she continues to strengthen her neighborhood and helps to ensure successful collaborations between COA and the school.
Brenda is an important pillar in the community who always contributes so much without expecting any recognition. We are humbled to honor such a deserving recipient of the 2016 Ethel Nutis Gill Award. Her commitment to positive and engaged parenting, and to building a strong community for the next generation is the embodiment of COA’s goals and ideals. In her own inspiring words “You need to build from within. People need tools, these young kids need role models; you can’t just wish for change. Can’t just ask somebody else to do it. You have got to lead it.”