Note from The President

Education is the key component to survival and transcendence for students from low-income and urban areas. Our high murder/violent crime rate is directly correlated with Louisiana’s perpetually low ranking education rate in America-- bottom five to be exact.  Without our investment in it, we will continue to see a rise in crime, violence and a lack of regard for life in the minority community.  There are too many children suffering from the mistakes that are beyond their control. How can we change this unfortunate narrative and support our children?  This question is central, when writing about the unification of public schools in New Orleans, the city that we know and love.

The community, as educational stakeholders, deserve to have a school district that is unified, locally-elected and locally-accountable governance for all public schools. The current educational landscape is devoid of that.  When The Orchid Society supports any community effort, it must have a strong impact on the children we mentor as they are indeed our priority. Therefore, we believe in the principles of unification. We support the unification of schools, because we feel that a singular governance will best afford our children an opportunity for success in the classroom and subsequently, beyond it too. In our efforts to enhance the future of our local youth, The Orchid Society has joined with a coalition of organizations to collectively support legislation to unify New Orleans Public Schools.  We have collaborated on developing five guiding principles to ensure success:

●       Sovereignty of Local Control

●       Equity in Funding

●       System Accountability

●       Data Transparency and Integrity

●       Safe and Secure Learning Environments

As a native of New Orleans, I see a brighter future for this great city. I also see local children leading in S.T.E.M., the arts, social studies and urban planning to ensure that our community rises above our past trials. It is time to invest in our children as they indeed are the future leaders of this community.

If you believe in mentoring, and seek a better future for our local kids,  we urge you to join us in our efforts that support the unification of schools. The time is now; let's play a positive role in our kids future and the future of New Orleans.

Ariel M. Wilson
Founder and President
The Orchid Society