(Photo by Flickr user david son, used under a Creative Commons license)
Jennifer Walters was part of the team that founded PhillyCORE Leaders in Philadelphia back in 2011. Their mission? To create a positive community collaborating on educational issues by connecting local, vocal leaders in education to one another.
“There wasn’t one network where people with different ideologies could sit around the same table,” said Walters, who has also been the executive director for the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation for the past five years.
Nowadays, Walters lives in Wilmington. For the past year, she’s been building and organizing a network of education leaders in Delaware with a “very similar mission” (and a very similar name): Delaware Coalition of Rising Educational Leaders — or, DelaCORE Leaders.
"We want to impact people with information on education, with no set agenda."
Comprised of policy makers, organizational leaders, educators, parents, entrepreneurs and engaged citizens, the coalition is looking to create a more positive, informative platform for discussing education and further the work of those who are already making a positive impact on the education system in Wilmington.
“We want to impact people with information on education, with no set agenda,” said Walters. “We want to shine a light on the positive things that are happening.”
And while the coalition is still very much in its grassroots stage, it is hosting an event on Sept. 25 featuring Delaware teacher of the year Megan Szabo, State Sen. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark) and none other than M. Night Shyamalan himself.
Shyamalan will be sharing what he learned about how to have a high impact on urban education systems while writing I Got Schooled. The first official DelaCORE Leaders event is free to attend.
As for the future? Walters said she’d like to launch an iteration of PhillyCORE Leaders’ SEED (Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education) competition in Wilmington. The coalition is currently looking for partners to help launch their initiatives.
“The same voices are constantly being heard in Delaware. We want new voices,” said Walters. “We’re hoping for positive public discourse.”
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