KIPP DC is proud to celebrate the contributions of our parents in the community with the KIPP DC Parents of Purpose spotlight. This month we’re spotlighting Cassi Zeledon, manager of family support and engagement for KIPP DC, mother of three, and proud parent of two students at KIPP DC Heights Academy.
Cassi joined KIPP DC in June 2018 after spending two years teaching in Washington, D.C. In her current role, she helps families find resources that can help their students thrive academically, while also establishing supports such as resume-building and financial literacy workshops to help families benefit socially, professionally, and economically.
“When I was teaching, a lot of the problems I saw that I wanted to help with and was really passionate about were multi-generational. So I would do things like offer tutoring after school for students and parents,” she said. “That would lend itself to some extremely long days. And when I found out about this position, I knew it was something where I can take what I was passionate about, helping families, and focus 100% of my attention on that.”
Beyond being able to provide support to families, Cassi notes that being able to respond to issues raised by families in her role and give their voice a platform has been most beneficial to helping forge meaningful relationships. “Being able to listen to parents and give voice to their concerns or hear from them what we’re doing right has been something I’ve noticed that’s helped strengthen the bond we have with our families and let them know we care.”
Looking ahead, Cassi wants to host a job fair for KIPP DC families where our partner organizations we can interact with families and offer job opportunities. In the meantime, she looks forward to continuing her work engaging with families in our community. “Making sure parents know that our schools are welcoming environments and that we want to be a part of their success is important. It takes teamwork to ensure students succeed, and as much as we want families to be a part of what we’re doing at school, we want to do what we can to support them outside of school.”
When not working, Cassi enjoys traveling and hanging out with her kids. Through her volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, Cassi has traveled as far as Honduras to help build houses for families, showing that even in her spare time, she’s devoted to helping others succeed.