Wesley-Rankin Community Center’s Leadership Council Makes an Impact

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Wesley-Rankin Community Center Leadership Council

Leadership Council Women with Rev. Pablo Guardiola, Pastor of Cockrell Hill UMC, and Job Sterling, Director of Adult Education (bottom).

The Leadership Council at Wesley-Rankin Community Center is known for its advocacy, support, and change in the West Dallas community. The Leadership Council, composed of 15 to 20 women, train weekly on how to have a voice in the education of their children. Together, wearing their Wesley-Rankin shirts and following a protocol from training, they have tackled and changed how parents are treated in the front offices of schools and changed a bus system that was generating tardies for students.

The Leadership Council facilitated a community meeting for those in the recent housing crisis of West Dallas and have hosted several workshops and initiatives that include the topics of immigration and the importance of voting. Many residents also know the Council by the Uniform Store, a project by the Council to offer new school uniforms and supplies for low cost. The Store not only provides reasonably priced items for the community, but also donates 100% of its proceeds to college scholarships for West Dallas students.

Two council members teach health and nutrition to a Ministry with the Poor class.

In addition to being innovative, the Council identifies classes and interviews instructors for the Adult Academy: a collection of courses in which adults attain certificates in areas such as computer literacy, healthy cooking, parenting and finance. The Leadership Council is in many ways, a compass for Wesley-Rankin. They direct and drive projects that address what the community needs and with the help of those who support the Center both financially and in volunteering, change and advocacy become realities.

Ofelia Villanueva, a member of the Council since 2008, says, “Wesley-Rankin helps educate the entire family, not just the children. There is so much offered to the community: valuable advice and information for all ages. And the conversation goes both ways. For instance, I want Wesley-Rankin to offer programming which addresses how to stop bullying. As a member of the Leadership Council, this is something I can make happen.” Indeed, if the Council visions for such programming, we will no doubt see a new class added to the schedule in the spring.

Shellie Ross
Senior Director of Education
Wesley-Rankin Community Center