There’s one question Marina Hopkins often finds herself asking educators and community leaders: Why is this work important to you?
Hopkins, director of operations with StrivePartnership, has never lost sight of why the work that StrivePartnership does to rally the community around student supports, outcomes and achievements is so important. She recognizes that this is in part because of her own experiences growing up, and the opportunities she provided for her own children.
“I never thought about being left behind, as a child. It wasn’t an option for me, and it wasn’t an option for my daughters,” said Hopkins. “There’s a passion in me to want to help students be successful. I’m tired of leaving kids behind; they don’t deserve that. We owe the community, and their families, every opportunity to succeed.”
StrivePartnership convenes local and regional stakeholders to ensure that efforts to improve student outcomes and access aren’t duplicated, and that resources are used strategically and well.
“We help to lift the voices of students and families so that they are the conductors of their paths,” said Hopkins, who is especially keen on recognizing just how committed everyone is to seeing students succeed – and that they’re doing their absolute best with what’s available to them.
“Every single parent and guardian wants to see their child succeed,” Hopkins said, pointing to the fact that much of her work also equips families, educators and community members with the research and resources to know what works to move the needle on critical student outcomes like kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading and middle grade math. It’s tough, essential work, and Hopkins wants to be a part of the solution.
“There’s so much work to do,” said Hopkins. “We can’t give up.”