February is upon us and our hearts are warm from Valentine’s Day! We’re spreading the love this year by highlighting the work our volunteers are doing on behalf of kids. Our hearts gush over the tremendous dedication and time our volunteers devote to help our youngest succeed. Thanks to our passionate advocates, we’re truly able to make a difference for children today and for generations to come. Here are a few advocates who have big hearts for kids!
From New Hampshire: Matt Mooshian
Matt Mooshian was one of our first Volunteer Leaders recruited in New Hampshire more than two years ago, and today he serves as our first State Team Leader helping to strategize community engagement across the Granite State.
Matt inspires people into action with his passion for ensuring that no child faces barriers to success. He regularly uses his blog and social media presence to expand our reach and raise awareness of issues impacting kids. As a SCAN Volunteer Leader, he’s facilitated partnerships with local teachers and family resource centers to urge our Congressional delegation to fiercely advocate for life-changing programs, like Head Start and Early Head Start.
Without Matt’s commitment, we couldn’t have achieved the successes we have; from expanding access to full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire, to seeing historic funding increases for federal programs that help kids get a strong start in life.
Submitted by: Emily Johnson, New Hampshire Mobilization Manager
From South Carolina: Deitra Matthews
Deitra Matthews seeks to inspire and equip others and that is what she has been doing in a powerful way as a SCAN volunteer in Columbia. She has been a volunteer for one and a half years. Deitra sees unique potential in each person she meets and uses her background as a public educator, her experiences and her wisdom to champion excellence where she finds it.
She and her daughters have attended presidential candidate events throughout the state as part of our High 5 for Kids campaign. Recently Deitra had the chance to meet Senator Bernie Sanders and attend an event with Senator Cory Booker. She’s collected petitions and her family has even opened their home by hosting a Sunday brunch where volunteers learned from each other on how to be effective advocates.
Submitted by: Deborah DePaoli, South Carolina Mobilization Manager
From Washington State: Mihir Sardesai, Student Ambassador
Mihir Sardesai joined SCAN as a junior in high school, after donating his savings from his summer tutoring job to Save the Children and exploring opportunities to get more involved in helping children in the U.S. and around the world.
Since joining the Student Ambassador Program, Mihir has presented about the importance of early childhood education and maternal, newborn and child survival to his local youth board and started a thriving SCAN student club at high school in Sammamish, Wash. This summer, he volunteered as an intern to support SCAN’s advocacy work in the Seattle area and across the state ahead of the midterm elections.
Now in his last semester of high school, Mihir says that his experience as an advocate with SCAN has definitely influenced his life goals. He is applying for colleges across the U.S. and hopes to one day work in politics or policy in order to continue helping children and families in need.
Submitted by: Morgan Moran, Manager of Student Ambassador Program
From New Mexico: Dylan Drusedum
Dylan Drusedum is New Mexico’s first Volunteer Leader, stepping up eagerly to become the Legislative Lead for Albuquerque. She stepped into this role following her experience last year at SCAN’s National Advocacy Summit. When she returned from the Summit, Dylan sprang into action. Without local staff, she organized support for the “Have a Heart! Invest in Kids” and “Head Start Week of Action” campaigns. She has also reached out to her two U.S. Senate offices and held in-district meetings on kid’s issues.
Once SCAN hired staff in New Mexico last fall, Dylan helped us elect a new governor who is supportive of increasing access to early childhood education by writing letters to the editor, encouraging family and friends to vote and showing support at a rally the night before Election Day. Now, she is wasting no time learning about state legislative priorities and asking for the support of her state lawmakers. Not only that, but she raised $300 in a just couple of weeks for SCAN’s new peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, Change for Children!
Submitted by: Lacey Daniell-Miller, New Mexico Mobilization Manager
From Iowa: Jessica Balk
Jessica Balk became a SCAN volunteer in the summer of 2018. She motivates and inspires others with her personal stories, which draw from her own connections to the issues we work on. As a young mom, she relates to the struggles of the families and children we fight for, especially struggles related to finding and affording quality child care. We love that her strong personality and eagerness to learn drives her to lead others to be a political voice for kids. As one of our newest leaders, we are excited to see Jessica hold presidential candidates accountable as they stream into Iowa for the 2020 caucuses, and look forward to her sharpening her skills at this year’s National Advocacy Summit in D.C. in March.
Submitted by: EJ Wallace, Iowa Mobilization Manager