By Chris Bell | Region President, SunTrust
As a board member, I am often asked “Why do you support Wake Education Partnership?” My thoughts are “Why not Wake Education Partnership?” More importantly, why not support the teachers, leaders, and administrators of the Wake County Public School System in providing a world class education to prepare our children for today’s global economy and future career opportunities. As an investor in WakeEd, SunTrust realizes that they do so many things for our teachers that make a difference. We are proud of the work they do through Teacher Innovation Grants, SummerSTEM, and World Café. We have also come to appreciate how they have grown to be a great place for members of our community to receive unbiased information about the critical issues that are affecting WCPSS, such as the recent budget increase request and classroom size debates.
I often reflect that one of our challenges in the school system is the lack of teacher recognition. My mother was a devoted public school teacher for 35 years, so I have always known the importance of them being recognized by parents and the community. If you are an educator reading this, then I say thank you very much for your commitment to education and for making a difference in the lives of our kids. One way that WakeEd contributes to this cause is our annual Stars of Education Gala, where we provide an opportunity for teachers to be recognized for their superior performance in front of our community. We also award them grants to help fund innovative projects in the classroom that they otherwise would not be able to afford.
At SunTrust, we are focused on Lighting the Way to Financial Well-being for our clients and our communities. SunTrust has a long history of giving back to our communities in ways that support financial education and financial well-being. Through community development lending, grant funding, volunteerism, and individual teammate contributions, we are transforming lives every day – and what could be more critical to Financial Well-being and financial confidence than a strong K-12 educational experience that prepares our children for a bright future. We support WakeEd Partnership because we feel they make a difference.
I also choose to personally invest in the partnership because I am the proud parent of two children who are attending Leesville Road High School. They are challenged to learn and grow academically while having the opportunity to participate in after school activities that expand their leadership and social networking skills.
So next time someone says “Why do you Support Wake Education Partnership?” I hope you can join me by saying “Why not WakeEd?” And please take the time to say “THANK YOU” to an educator in your school, as they make a huge difference every day.