Ms. Gwendolyn Samuel is a parent of two children in the 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. S
Ms. Samuel, along with other parents and educational advocates, successfully introduced a form of 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 2013, the Connecticut Parent’s Union, under the leadership of Ms. Samuel, spearheaded community efforts to decriminalize Connecticut’s school residency/zip-code laws thus ensuring all children have access to safe and high performing educational opportunities regardless of where they live.