September American Graduate Champion: Amber May
The American Graduate Champion for September is Amber May, Programs Director at Operation Shoestring in Jackson, MS and 2014-2015 Afterschool Alliance Ambassador for Mississippi.
As Program Director, Amber May makes sure that all programs are up and running well for elementary, middle, and high school grades. The focus of the programs is to have them in line with the latest research on afterschool programs. Operation Shoestring is looking for high quality programs that make substantive gains in the lives of the children and families that are served. May was officially selected by the nation-wide Afterschool Alliance as one of just 13 ‘Afterschool Ambassadors’ from across the country.
“Not all factors can be addressed by teaching. Students need more support than happens in the classroom,” explains May.
Operation Shoestring specialized in wrap-around services that include parent support, counseling, financial sustainability and health care.
Speaking of the organization’s mission, she said, “Our outreach is ensuring that we all rise together.”
Our programs provide not just academics. We have many strategic partners, volunteers and mentors. Millsaps College works with the kids writing books. The Junior League of Jackson helps provide wholesome and healthy programs. St. Dominics does screenings every year.
May says that Operation Shoestring works to help students have a voice, “It’s amazing how honest and open they can be. It’s a real joy knowing that you have an impact. “
“We are outcome driven. We seek the outcomes academically but we also see to it that parents are armed with resources they need,” said May. “We achieve long lasting impact on the community by working with other organizations coordinating resources.”