Kierra Curtis is serving as a Public Ally in the role of Community & School Engagement Coordinator for the Greenmount West Community Center Foundation. Kierra’s apprenticeship provides academic support to youth in grades K-8, with the goal of increased school attendance and grades for Greenmount West’s Out-of-School-Time youth participants.
We caught up with Kierra on a typical day in which she meets local kids at the bus stop and fills their afternoon with plenty of activities like snack time, homework and reading time, and even podcasting on relevant topics like bullying.
Why did you choose to become a Public Ally?
I chose to become a Public Ally because I saw an opportunity to become a change agent in my city. Many people complain, but do not know where to go to get the tools to initiate the change they want to see.
How has being an Ally made your work better?
Being an Ally has made my work better because I have found an empowering work environment. Many people are in toxic work situations and unfortunately cannot alter those as quickly as they may want to. My site is filled with influential black women who provide me with the space to create, ask, and implement. I have been given the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set while reflecting on my growth. My director assisted me with my first grant writing, and I am happy to report I received a grant to implement a vision geared toward helping youth recognize the power of their voice.
Why does Baltimore need Public Allies?
Baltimore needs Public Allies because they are providing individuals with tools designed to assist the needs of people they aim to support by including people’s opinions. Public Allies facilitate and challenge a diverse group of individuals to come together and strengthen their talents. It also allows you to focus on your career plan and gain the skills you may not have been familiar with before. I am happy I am a part of a group like this that allows me to explore my options and leave my mark on my city.