DC Action for Children Welcomes Vanessa Petion as Digital Organizer

As a digital organizer, Vanessa Petion uses social media and online platforms to drive awareness and organize engagement and support for DC Action's campaigns that advance education, health, and racial equity.

Vanessa is a first generation Haitian American, born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She obtained her master's degree in Strategic Communication at American University and worked at a local DC elementary school as an AmeriCorps VISTA. As a child of Haitian immigrants, Vanessa’s cultural background served as a starting point for her passion for storytelling and social change. This passion has since evolved with her interest in collective memory and the role that communication plays in acts of social change. She believes that encouraging people impacted by social issues and structural barriers not only taps into the power and agency that people already have, but also bridges gaps in information and fuels social change and awareness.

Before joining DC Action, Vanessa worked as a communications coordinator for a DC Council Member, where she helped highlight legislative priorities to District residents via social media. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Vanessa became active in the DC community, where she connected the school where she was stationed with local and corporate partners to provide activities, programs, and resources that adhered to student and staff needs. Much of the work Vanessa has done in the last few years has focused on amplifying voices, racial equity, and social justice. She hopes that her work with DC Action will drive awareness about the social issues impacting District residents and encourage systemic change in DC government.

When she is not working, you can find Vanessa listening to music, knitting, or reading a good book. She also loves pop culture, watching re-runs of One Tree Hill, and going to bookstores.

Out-of-School Time Programs are Essential
for Youth and Families

While school buildings have been closed due to public health concerns, many out-of-school time programs have continued to provide activities for children and youth, whether online, outside, socially distanced, or in small groups. Other OST programs have struggled to recruit or retain participants because school partners have excluded them from planning. We urge school leaders to take advantage of offerings from the excellent OST programs in the District by including OST in all planning efforts.
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