Boston City Councilor at large, Ayanna Pressley, made a special visit to The SPARK Center this past Monday.
Councilor Pressley has been involved in Massachusetts and national politics for many years. She was elected to Boston City Council in 2009, and became the first woman of color to serve in the 100-year history of the Boston City Council. Councilor Pressley formed and chairs the Committee on Women and Healthy Communities, a group devoted to stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, and combating poverty. She is an extremely active leader in the non-profit community and serves in many leadership positions throughout the city.
It was a treat for the staff and the children to have Councilor Pressley visit The SPARK Center. With her boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, she conducted an interactive hour of reading and singing with the kids. Two of our most fragile preschoolers volunteered to stand up next to the councilor, and helped her to lead their friends in a song.
It was inspiring to see these two little girls, both of whom have suffered tremendous trauma before the age of five, stand up next to such an empowering, female leader in our community. It was inspiring to hear Councilor Pressley tell the girls that they could be the future city councilors.
The image of the three of them together was a testament to the strength of the services and interventions offered at The SPARK Center. These children have received medical care, mental health counseling, early intervention and family therapy at SPARK. This model of comprehensive care has given these kids the tools they need to be resilient and overcome their challenges.
Councilor Pressley ended her story hour with an important 10 word lesson. She asked the kids to put their ten little fingers in the air, and count each word as she told them, “if it is to be, it is up to me.” She left them with this important message, and the lesson that no one can get in the way of accomplishing their dreams.
We are so grateful for Councilor Pressley’s visit, and for her ongoing advocacy for access to quality early childhood interventions for our city’s children!