Our highly trained staff is up-to-date on the latest in parent engagement, special education advocacy, and how schools in this state work. Each Parent Consultant takes part in a rigorous mentoring program designed to share information and develop skills that are essential in helping parents understand how to support their child’s learning.
Staff members at the Parent Information Center are selected for their exceptional skills and expertise related to parent engagement, advocacy, and support. Parent Consultants participate in regular trainings as related to special education, disabilities issues, general education, and technology. Our Parent Consultants understand the challenges of parenting, especially parenting children with disabilities, because they, too, are parents.
Meedra Surratte, M.Ed. - Executive Director Meedra is a community and education advocate serving students with disabilities and their families at PIC for the past 10 years. Her area of focus lies in education and capacity building, particularly in the areas of special education, family engagement and building and/or strengthening sustaining partnerships between families and schools. She is committed to ensuring equity in education, representing the interests of students and families from our most undeserved communities. Meedra holds a B.A. in Organizational Dynamics and a Masters in Special Education. Meedra also serves as the aRPy Ambassador for Delaware, promoting awareness of evidenced based practices that improve outcomes for infants and toddlers. She represents the needs, concerns and interests of children with disabilities and their families on several statewide councils. Meedra previously served as education contributor to the Arthur J. Turner Jr. Scholarship Foundation, and served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and an Educational Surrogate Parent for 10 years. Meedra is the proud parent of 3 girls, and grandparent of a granddaughter born in 2021.
"Through my work, my goal is to encourage, empower, and inform families about the special education process, and the importance of advocacy in education and community, specifically reaching underserved parents of children with disabilities and families with low Income and/or limited resources."
Christina previously worked here as a program coordinator for the PIRC grant. She worked with schools increasing parent engagement, taught workshops, facilitated Family Friendly Walkthroughs and learned so much about education, parental engagement and working with families of kids with unique needs. After her time with PIC, Tina went back to school and got a Masters in Special Education with an autism certification. She worked for 5 years in schools in Delaware and Maryland as a classroom teacher and as a special educator. Tina is coming back to PIC, in this role as a parent consultant, with this additional education, experience, and passion. Tina's hope is that she is able to partner with families to help them find resources and supports to improve their child’s educational experiences and, ultimately, improve their lives. Tina will be working on initiatives throughout the state but her primary focus will be on Sussex County. She grew up in Sussex County and graduated from Sussex Central High School. She also worked in nonprofits there for many years building relationships and coaching young people at the beginning of their careers. Tina is excited to work with many of the people that she grew up with and went to school with as they are now teachers, administrators, and parents in Sussex County. An important focus of Tina's in the next few months, is to increase PICs visibility in Sussex County so that more families and children can benefit from our services. When Tina is not at work, she is living an awesome life with her 5 children and menagerie of animals. Tina's children also are unique individuals with special needs and as their parent she is an ardent advocate for their needs as well.
"“My goal is to ensure families of children with special needs have access to the information, programs, and support they need to make informed decisions about their children’s education. There is nothing more anxiety producing than facing the unique challenges of being a parent of a child with special needs and not knowing how to get the resources you need for that child. I am so glad to be a part of PIC and be able to be a community connector for our families.”"
Mary is a Sussex County Native who started her career as a Public Ally in 2002, where she completed 1700 hours of community service with a non profit in Sussex County. She then moved on as a Program Coordinator at Interfaith Mission where she developed and ran an after school program. When she is not working she is spending time with her fabulous daughter and family.
"" Growing up as a child with a disability, I saw the obstacles my mother faced to ensure I had the tools succeed in school. I want to make sure every parent has the tools to advocate for their children as my mother did for me." "
Latesha completed her Human Services Associates internship at PIC . Prior to her 2011 relocation to Delaware, Latesha worked 5 years in New York City Public Schools as a School Safety Agent . She was able to engage with regular and special education students of all ages . Upon establishing residency in Delaware, She worked 6 years for families and children with Special Needs in Transportation. In her role at PIC, Latesha hopes to partner her love for families and passion to help with the resources and support available to the Residents of Delaware.
"“ I have had my share of working side by side with families . Now is the time to work together.” "
Kimyada joined the PIC staff in November 2018 and coordinates our new intakes and data collection. Kim has over 10 years experience in customer service and finance and is a passionate advocate for children. She is excited to help families advocate and learn about the special education process, as she was when advocating for her daughter.
Lafayette, joined the team 2020 as our Transitions Associate. A native of Chicago, Lafayette is outgoing, energetic, inspiring and passionate about supporting youth and young adults. Prior to joining PIC, he learned about the special education process, advocating for teens in Wilmington, and continues to be very passionate about learning new ways to help others. He previously worked for the YMCA, and also volunteered for serval programs involving the community and youth. Some of his skills are understanding and communicating with others, adapting/blending into his surroundings, he’s very observant and excels in connecting with others. He looks forward to working with, and building student leaders in Delaware.
"“Although we try our best to educate the youth, they teach us more with every experience. Our job is to be patient and listen. I love listening to others expressing their story. Even though I may not be able to change their story, I would love to help them create a better ending” "
Paula provides information and resources for families of children with disabilities, meeting personally with parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and conducting workshops in Spanish on topics related to special education and effective advocacy.
"I know firsthand the challenges that families have to face having a child with a disability. One of my two sons has autism and I know that it’s not only a challenge emotionally and physically but it can also provide an extra challenge socially and with parents and families in the community who may not be as educated or understanding of having a child with a disability."
"I am passionate in this field and I will not stop until all families feel heard and helped. I also want children with disabilities to be challenged and have all of their needs and gifts met."
My name is Rose-Eliada Fils-Aime, I have been working with Youth for the past 2 years. I know a little of the struggles that some parents face, especially in my community. My job as youth leader is to mentor my youth spiritually and socially. I am a bilingual parent consultant. I am really proud to work with an organization that cares about parents and their families. I am a certified surgical technologist and I am currently studying Chemical Dependency Counseling at Wor Wic Community College in Salisbury, MD. I started working with Youth because it is something that I have been always passionate about. I like giving back to my community and I’ll always do it as long as I am able to.
"I like giving back to my community and I’ll always do it as long as I am able to."
Kathie ensures that eligible children in Delaware’s foster care system are appointed a trained and knowledgeable Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) who acts as the foster child’s parent in the special education process. She delivers training, consultation and support to foster parents, community volunteers, educators and professionals regarding parental rights and special education regulations, as well as working closely with state agencies and school districts to ensure effective implementation of the program on behalf of foster children. Kathie holds a B.S., in Recreation & Park Administration, University of Delaware, M.S. in Management, Wilmington University.
"Children in foster care experience numerous challenges due to life altering and traumatic events. They deserve to have knowledgeable advocates ready to support them in school. Through my work, I hope to positively influence educational outcomes for children in foster care."
Mindy provides administrative support to staff throughout the state and manages the PIC database of more than 6,000 people! Mindy is a graduate of Salisbury University, is a previous Delaware PTA board member and a member of the Newark High School PTSA.
"I have been a passionate volunteer and advocate for high quality public education in Delaware for many years. I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that truly makes a difference for so many families."
Jin Whan provides clerical support services as part of Chimes Delaware Community Employment Program.
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