Tammy is a retired Kindergarten teacher for the Surrey School District. During her career she worked in both inner-city and more affluent schools. However, no matter which school she was in she always had at least one student who came from a family who faced financial challenges everyday. She did what she could to help by providing appropriate clothing and snacks, and helping to find new accommodations for struggling single moms who were facing eviction, etc. It was heartbreaking when the children came to school with a coat three sizes too small or mushy jam sandwiches day after day because they did not have a decent lunch bag. What was worse was the fact that she could see no possibility of better lives for these children and their families.
When Tammy retired she decided to do something to help families. She is working alongside organizations such as First Call and BC Poverty Reduction to made systemic changes in the fight against poverty. She is a founding member of the Bright Beginnings Foundation.
Stephanie is an Educational Assistant with the Surrey School District. She has often thought about how she was able to accomplish this when the odds were not stacked in her favour. She had her son when she was in her late teens but through the financial and emotional support of others she was able to obtain a post secondary degree.
Stephanie has always been intrigued by the concept of paying it forward and was anxious to find a meaningful way of paying back for the kindness that she received. She was excited to hear about the Bright Beginnings Foundation. She joined the board when we were just in the conceptualizing stage of this project.
Sylvia was a teacher in the Surrey School District where she worked in an inner-city school. Besides teaching, she did what she could to provide nutritious meals and appropriate clothing for students and food hampers for families. While taking care of basic needs for individuals she worked with the Anti-Poverty Committee of the Surrey Teachers' Association. She helped organize workshops that educated teachers on the issue of poverty in their classrooms.
BBF is very fortunate to welcome Karen as one of our directors. Karen was the first recipient of BCTF's Bob Rosen Social Justice Award in 2014. She has worked tirelessly for women's rights both locally and globally. She organized an annual Grade 7 girls conference in her school and worked extensively on the issue of women in polygamous communities, such as Bountiful. She is also an active member of Canadian Harambee, which supports girls in completing secondary school in Kenya and Tanzania.