Executive director, vice president, City Year Columbus
About: Booker has been with City Year since 2014 where she leads efforts to partner with public schools in high-need communities to help students stay on track to graduate and get ready for college and career success. She has a B.S. in marketing from Franklin University and a master’s of education degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She lives in Reynoldsburg and is married, a mother of one and has a 5-pound poodle named Skittles.
If we want to close the socio-economic gaps in our community, we have to address the educational inequities that persist throughout our community.
Outside of work: Booker serves on the board of directors of the Human Service Chamber and Momentum Columbus, is on the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s program committee, is a charter member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, is a member of the Delta Signa Theta Columbus Alumnae chapter and is a member of the Links Incorporated Columbus Chapter.
What does Columbus need to thrive? As we look forward to a post-Covid-19 future we know that we cannot rebuild our community and exclude the education sector from these important conversations. The pandemic not only exposed but exacerbated the disparities that exists throughout Central Ohio. The digital divide our students faced was made greater during the school closures, but it represents a microcosm of the challenge facing our otherwise thriving city. Access to reliable internet should be as accessible as turning on a light switch.
Booker’s idea: We know that virtual learning in some form is here to stay. What if for the next three years we partnered with Columbus City Schools, the Columbus Foundation and community philanthropists to raise investments to secure laptops for district students and worked with our local governments to expand internet access in our city? Students entering the sixth grade today would be in the ninth grade—a critical transition year for academic achievement.