“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”
― Jean Vanier
I previously worked at the SEED Foundation in DC on their fundraising team. I moved back to Baton Rouge and was looking to get involved. When the executive director, Sarah Broome, began sharing her idea for the school, someone suggested that she reach out to me. I saw the impact of the SEED school and was excited that a similar school would exist in Baton Rouge. THRIVE does a phenomenal job of serving a student population that is often ignored in our city.
Why did you say yes when asked to serve?
I said yes because I wanted to be involved in the community, I’m passionate about public education and education reform, THRIVE is a great idea and Sarah doesn’t let anyone say no.
What was compelling about the opportunity?
I was and still am excited about building a school from the ground up. I like the flexibility we have with being a charter school to change the curriculum and schedule to meet the needs of our students when something isn’t working. I’m a change agent and if the system is broke, I will always be in favor of people who are looking for ways to make it better. Every charter school isn’t meant for every community, but it was obvious to me in my meetings for THRIVE that the program had good legs and would be successful.
What leadership roles have you had while serving on the board?
I serve as the chair of the board and lead some of our development efforts.
Is there anything you know now that you wished you had known before?
I wish I knew more of the history of East Baton Rouge school system. It wouldn’t have changed anything though because I still would have joined the board of THRIVE.
“Norisha is the exact right balance for a board member. She is great at organizing the rest of the board, connecting me with members of the community and pushing back when I need it,” says Sarah Broome, Executive Director, THRIVE Baton Rouge
THRIVE is a Type 1 charter school authorized by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. Eventually serving students in grades 6 through 12, THRIVE is a public, tuition-free, charter boarding school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It provides students with a world-class education in a holistically nurturing family-like residential environment. The THRIVE residency program focuses on creating independent young adults. Residential life is highly structured, allowing students to feel secure in their surroundings and concentrate on their education. In the afternoons, students engage in a variety of physical activities, arts programs and tutoring sessions. In the evenings, they work together to run their household, performing everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and budgeting. This combination of nurturing and responsibility develops the independence that is vital for breaking the cycle of poverty.
The Top Shelf
The success of a charter school hinges largely on the decisions of its governing board. The Top Shelf enhances the capacity of charter school boards through professional development, board recruitment and community engagement.