May 312013

Aisha KnowlesLast year, I gave Aisha Knowles a very hard time when she was running for Alameda County Board of Education.  Aisha, at that time, had not demonstrated she understood what the Board did.

A year later, I’m happy to say that she’s proven me wrong. She’s become an extremely committed Board member, visiting the juvenile detention centers (the county Board is responsible for the education of incarcerated students) and researching first hand what needs are and are not met. She’s also taking a hands-on approach to the issues that confront other students under her jurisdiction. For example, the high school for pregnant and lactating mothers only has a prom in alternate years – which means that many students go without a prom at all.

Aisha is trying to change that, fundraising to be able to throw them that one-in-a-lifetime special night. It may seem like a little thing, but I know how incredibly difficult it was for me, in my 30’s, to be a new mother and how great my need for recreation was. We often forget that taking care of the emotional well-being of mothers is essential for the proper development of their babies. Having a prom to look forward can be a wonderful way to lift the spirits of what I’m sure are very exhausted girls, and that can only be beneficial for all. I have invited Aisha to write about her fundraiser and experiences in the Board, and she will soon. But meanwhile I want to congratulate her for taking her job as a board member seriously – more seriously than most – and working hard to make a difference

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