Connecticut Parent’s Union’s Founder
Ms. Gwendolyn Samuel is a parent of two children in Meriden, CT public schools, and the Founder of three, all volunteer, community-based organizations that advocate for the educational rights of all children from birth through college graduation. These include the CT Parents Union (CTPU) ™, a membership association whereby parents, guardians and families are connected with the educational resources and support system necessary to ensure that neither race, zip-code nor socio-economic status is a predictor of their child’s success; the State of Black CT Alliance, an organization which advocates for equity and access to high-quality socioeconomic and educational opportunities for communities of color and other vulnerable populations; and the Meriden Kids Walk Safe Coalition (MKWS) – a Safe Routes to School Initiative.
A graduate of Springfield College, with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Ms. Samuel works tirelessly to promote effective and sustainable practices that foster the academic and social development of children while seeking to strengthen families and communities.
She firmly strives to ensure that “each and every child” has access to a high quality education and equitable access to opportunity. She also firmly believes that a well informed community is a better and stronger, community.
Ms. Samuel, along with other parents and educational advocates, successfully introduced the so called “Parent Reform Trigger” law to Connecticut. The law gives parents legislative redress through School Governance Councils, allowing them to make recommendations for a school improvement model that supports turning around a systemically low-performing school.
In recognition of her work, Parenting Magazine selected, Ms. Samuel as one of 51 moms from across the country to represent their state at the inaugural, March 2010 Mom Congress on Education and Learning Conference at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
In July 2010 and 2011, Ms. Samuel was a presenter at the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation program.
In September 2010, Ms. Samuel was selected to sit on an educational panel at the NBC Universal Education Nation Summit in New York.
In April 2011, she presented a workshop on the Parent Trigger law at the 2011 Parenting Magazine Mom Congress Education and Learning Conference in D.C.
In June 2011, she presented at the 115th Annual National PTA Convention, in Orlando, Florida on her Meriden Kids Walk Safe – Safe Routes to School Initiative. The workshop was entitled Safe Routes to School: Advocating for Wellness & Growing Successful Programs.
In October 2011, she presented at the National Association for the Early Young Child (NAEYC) Conference in Orlando Florida; Engaging Parents, Teachers and Kids as they Transition into Kindergarten.
In March and April of 2012, Ms. Samuel presented at Teach for America – CT Professional Development Days in Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven entitled, “Parent and Teachers in Partnership.”
Interim Steering Committee
Youth Advisory Members