Maleika Joubert Brown didn’t always want to be a teacher. She took steps toward becoming a child psychologist, then a school counselor, before pursuing a degree in education. But after starting her first job teaching middle school math 27 years ago, she knew she was in the right place. Now the director of equity and inclusion at Grand Rapids Public Schools, Maleika says, “I am able to impact the lives of the people that I love the most, and those are students.”
It’s the same reason she and her husband, Eric, donate monthly to WMCAT as Opportunity Curators. The two are committed to “mak[ing] sure that our youth, our families, have the opportunities they deserve,” Maleika shares.
She first learned about WMCAT over 15 years ago from a student in her algebra class, who was excited to show Maleika the photos she took in an afterschool program and share how much the place — WMCAT — meant to her.
Now on the Board of Directors, Maleika wishes she had started supporting WMCAT earlier, she says, “but I’m here now and I’m here to stay.”
“Every place that we decide to give to is because it impacts future generations and impacts those who need us most as a community.”
Why? “That opportunity with a capital ‘O’ is huge for me,” Maleika shares. As a lifelong educator, she pictures her students — past, present, and future — benefiting from the work of WMCAT: exploring the arts after school, planning next steps to college or career as young adults, and pursuing a pathway to economic security for their families. “WMCAT is reaching the students that I love who need this opportunity.”
“Everything starts small. I hope the small amount that I’m able to donate right now will build that capacity for WMCAT to reach into the community to those who need it most.”
Join Maleika and Eric as Opportunity Curators — a group of passionate sustainers for WMCAT — and advance our collective work to provide access to opportunity. Your monthly gift supports the mission of WMCAT year-round.
Visit wmcat.org/donate to become an Opportunity Curator today!