Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Everyday Champion: Rebekah Mazanowski

This story is a part of our Everyday Champions series. Helping youth succeed takes commitment and action from our whole community. Everyday Champions are people who are committed and who act in small and big ways to support youth in central Indiana. Do you know someone who you think would make a great Champion for Youth? Click here to get started.

We're excited to feature Rebekah Mazanowski in this edition of Everyday Champions. Rebekah, a Parent Liaison at Howe Community High School, is also the sister of Natalie Mazanowski, MCCOY's Communications Director. Rebekah appreciates the role that her parents and the community have had in helping her develop into the person she is today. Growing up in a large family, she understands that parents and families need the support of a strong and healthy community.

What is your profession or vocation?

I am a 2007 graduate of IUPUI with a degree in Sociology. I am currently the Parent Liaison for IPS school 420; Thomas Carr Howe Community High School. My job is to communicate with parents at home and within the school. I focus on increasing parent involvement in order to improve the chance of student success.

How are you an everyday Champion for Youth?
Working in a school and interacting on a daily basis with kids and teens enables me to visualize the things that are most beneficial to high school students today. Participation in sports and school activities inevitably gives kids a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I organize activities and club opportunities for the students. Additionally, parent involvement is essential to a child’s success. I facilitate workshops within the school strictly for parents. The workshops address ways for parents to help their child or they provide information and resources for parents to incorporate into their parenting role.

What impact do you hope to make on youth?
I hope to impact the students through parent involvement and/or parent interest in the child. Educating parents will directly effect youth. The more I can help a parent by providing knowledge and resources, the better off a child will be.

What is one thing you wish an adult had told you when you were a young person?
I think so much about life is figuring it out on your own, but I think it is good to tell young people to be explorative, try new things and venture out of comfort zones when thinking about future goals and educational plans. Think big and plan accordingly.

What do you want to do next to support youth?
I will continue my work with the Indianapolis Public School system. I host family reading nights every month at the school. I have noticed in the past that kids really enjoy discussing their most current read, whether it is for school or for pleasure. I would like to get some type of book club going where kids are free to read and discuss the books that they enjoy.