COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Shani Faure became the PTA president of P.S. 140 only a year ago, but her community advocacy dates all the way back to her teenage years. Faure is one of the project managers at Life Camp Incorporated, a nonprofit organization aiming to save teens from gun violence, and is also a life coach for single mothers. As PTA President, Faure focuses on fundraising through social events and school sales and also on increasing parent involvement in the school. “I try to think about creative and unique ways to get the parents out there,” she said. “Not only just to know what’s going on in the school, but also different wa ys to build better relationships between parents and students.”
PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Faure is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, but moved around as a child. However, despite her location, one thing remained constant – her advocacy for the community. She began as a Girl Scout, and said she worked in hospitality ever since she was 14 years old. During her college years, she worked with children in low-income neighborhoods. “I always spent my time volunteering and mentoring those less fortunate,” she said.
FAVORITE MEMORY: In her position, Faure said her favorite memories involve “just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces, because they really do appreciate the little things.” All of the P.S. 140 students and parents have come to know her friendly face, and they enjoy seeing her in the school every day. “It’s a very family-oriented school, and I think that’s what I love,” she said. “Everybody pitches in and does their part.”
INSPIRATION: Through all of Faure’s volunteer work, she has encountered many different people, mainly children. In college, she recalled seeing kids that go home to negligent parents, and it made her want to be there for them “Some kids just don’t have anybody at home,” she said. “So at least they now know that at school they have other people to talk to, and I think that makes the difference.” Faure said that a lot of students in the area are at a “disadvantage,” and she wants to be there, along with others, to help them.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Getting parents more involved is a perpetual problem for Faure, but aside from that, she wants upgraded technology in the school. Currently, the school has very few storyboards, which can help individual students do anything from lay out a storyline in English or break apart a word equation in math. Faure would like to get a storyboard for every student, and also update their computer center with Apple equipment.