To increase equity in education
Check & Connect trainer aligns student need with resources and support
Growing up in a small Wisconsin city, Ann Romine vividly remembers a 60 Minutes news story that labeled her hometown: “White Wausau.” The story portrayed a city afraid of its growing Hmong population — a refugee community who was desperately in need of allies and support. Coming from a single-parent home, Romine also understood the importance of a supportive community. Finding ways to share the compassion and support she received would become a life-long goal.
Learn more about Check & Connect and other Transition focused work at ICI
After college, Romine moved to Philadelphia as an Americorps volunteer, teaching in a classroom far more challenging than the Madison, Wisconsin schools where she trained. It became clear to her that schools and families needed help working together to support the success of every student, which is why she devoted the next 15 years to leading a family engagement program within the School District of Philadelphia.
“I believe in building social capital. Everyone deserves to have a relationship safety net. My goal is to offer strategies for how we can work together for the sake of our kids, our schools, and our communities.”
Over the years, Romine has had a desire to make more of a difference in education and social service organizations. “My focus has always been to work across systems to align resources and build relationships among teachers, students, and their families." This passion to promote impactful interventions is what led her to Check & Connect. Romine is a national education trainer, working to implement the student intervention model in schools and community based organizations.
“There is so much that I value in my work at ICI,” says Romine. “I value the investment that schools and communities are making to provide supports for every student. I value the teachers, school staff, and community members who commit to being that one, particular caring adult, always there to listen, advocate, and engage students in school. But most of all, I value the students themselves, who are often battling systems that work against them. I know we can't abandon these young minds."
And it is compassion, learned early in life, that drives Romine forward. Through her work implementing the Check & Connect model, Romine is giving more students the chance they need to believe in themselves, to graduate, and to pursue their own meaningful future.