Trudy Hunter is one of those parents who has been working for students in her household and in her community long before we met her. A Miles alumna, wife, mother, grandmother, and native Bostonian, Trudy wakes up each day with a tenacity that is contagious. “I didn’t grow up with many people around me making sure I took the right path,” she says. “So I’m doing whatever it takes to make sure my kids are.” Even now, Trudy sees the fruits of her labor – one of her children is following in her footsteps to continue his education at Miles College and another is a junior at Carver – and is confident that her children will continue marching with her on the right path.
With all that’s on her plate, playing a role in her kid’s education came down to what Trudy had capacity to do, which to her was as easy as showing up. Trudy believes that listening to her children’s hopes and dreams is crucial. “I do my best to know what they want for themselves. But it’s their future,” she says, “and they’ve got to own it.”
Trudy is all about high expectations and the consistent support, but she doesn’t limit that support to her time at home with her kids: she makes herself present in the school in anyway she can. Even if it means bringing her grandson with her, Trudy is often found at Carver meeting with teachers, helping out in the front office, and connecting with parents.“Every year, I make sure my kids’ teachers know who I am,” she says. “That relationship is so important.”
Trudy joins two other parents in the Carver feeder pattern as the Parent Connector for Ed’s Asset Mapping with Birmingham Neighborhoods and Schools. The purpose of this program is to create community to school partnerships by connecting “assets”: students, parents, teachers, residents or organizations with similar ideas or hopes for Carver. When asked about her experience working with Ed, Trudy says, “Being the Ed Parent Connector for Carver has afforded me the ability to get involved and express more of an interest in my child’s and other children’s lives. Interviewing and talking to parent’s about their dreams and hopes for their children has created an atmosphere where our children will benefit greatly.”
With a (little bit of) Boston flare, Trudy often talks about her desire for Carver to be a place where parents and community members are seen lending their time and talents, even when there isn’t a meeting going on. “Teachers and students have so much on their plates,” she notes. “My hope is that one day you see this place full with community people, alumni and parents who are welcomed and helping out in ways that they enjoy.” Mutually-beneficial relationships between all involved is exactly what Ed is hopeful for—at Carver and in every Birmingham City school.
Only when Ed works with parents like Trudy Hunter will we take steps (together) in that direction.