MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday, as part of our Community Changemakers series, we highlight organizations making Memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that believes in making parents powerful.
Sarah Carpenter is the Director of Memphis Lift, a nonprofit organization that helps parents advocate for their child’s education. “It [doesn’t] matter what schools these kids go to as long as they get what they need. That’s all we want.”
Their choice counseling program helps parents navigate transferring their child from one school to another. “Just because we live in low-income communities [doesn’t] mean we don’t want what is best for our children,” said Carpenter.
They have a team that goes door to door talking with and listening to parents and guardians about how to improve the community and neighborhood schools. “I’m not blaming the schools for everything. We have a lot of work to do at home also, and we tell our parents that,” Carpenter said.
Memphis Lift helped Ebony Mayes develop an individualized education plan for her son and daughter. They’ll sit you down and say, What are you looking for?’ Show you how to put those words into a context, taking it to the school. If the school won’t listen to you alone, they’ll bring a group of people. Somebody is going to listen.”
Latasah Griggs, a mother of two, had a registration issue with one son. Memphis Lift was able to help steer her in the right direction. “If I didn’t have the Memphis Lift, I think, when it comes to my sons, they would be a statistic.”
Griggs said she promotes education. “I promote moving further in life than where we stay at. Because where we stay doesn’t define who we are or where we go in life.”
That is why Brown Missionary Baptist Church wanted to give Memphis Lift $1,000 because when you create an organization for parents by parents, you can advocate for education on a much larger scale.
A true community changemaker.
For more details about Memphis Lift, click here.