RootED NWA’s mission is to support and engage families in a culture of education by providing the vital resources necessary to cultivate strong roots for continuing generations.
There are many ways of helping people. Sometimes we help each other by giving our support, sometimes by offering a helping hand. And then there are times when the best way to help someone is to open their eyes to possibilities they didn’t even know were there. There are organizations in Northwest Arkansas committed to teaching members of its community how to seize opportunities that could improve their lives.
RootED Northwest Arkansas is a non-profit organization that helps parents recognize ways of getting the most out of their children’s education. RootED NWA gives people access to the information and the support network they need to find the best schools for their kids’ professional and personal growth. This sort of assistance is especially important for parents in underserved and marginalized communities where it can be hard to imagine a brighter future.
The founding executive of RootED Northwest Arkansas, Judith Yanez, tries to figure out what makes parents apprehensive about the educational system in order to change their outlook. By sharing with them her own story of struggle, she’s also telling the story of RootED:
“The organization is rooted in my own personal experience. I am the daughter of immigrant parents who came here to provide a better life for our family. […] Often, as a mother, I was made to feel that my children were not as smart or as capable as I knew them to be. I have come to understand that as parents we must be the facilitators of the potential we see in our children. We can’t rely solely on the system or others […] identifying and placing my children in the learning environments best suited to their needs has unlocked possibilities for them that I myself never had.”
That’s where RootED NWA comes in, we exist to help parents “recognize, understand, and negotiate their children’s education,” so they can actively pursue a better future.
RootED NWA’s efforts are being recognized by the TRUE Northwest Arkansas initiative’s UPLIFT program, which gives organizations engaged in diversity, equity and inclusion the opportunity to participate in a shared learning experience over a two-year period and receive technical assistance from the Arkansas Community Foundation. This initiative aims to support non-profit organizations like RootED NWA to become self-sustained in the future so that they can continue to help people improve their lives.