ATPE is proud to bring you this series of posts from our staff members. Today’s post features ATPE’s volunteer program coordinator, Anna Belle Burleson.
How long have you been working at ATPE? What was your first job here?
I began working as ATPE’s volunteer program coordinator on Leap Day 2016. I have over 16 years’ experience in public school classrooms working with all ages from early childhood through high school. I also bring many years of nonprofit and volunteer experience to this position.
What drew you to working at ATPE?
As a former public school teacher, I am deeply committed to free and accessible public schools for all. Every child deserves an equal opportunity to receive an exemplary education. I believe it is the state’s responsibility to educate all of our children as they represent the future for all of us. We must prepare them to participate fully in their communities as engaged and informed citizens.
What is your favorite part of working at ATPE?
I am pleased to work with ATPE’s volunteer leaders all over the state. These educators are committing a large chunk of their precious “free” time because they love ATPE so much and they want to share ATPE’s benefits with their colleagues. I am inspired by their dedication and leadership, and I am proud to offer guidance and assistance to each and every one of them.
Share something fun about yourself that members might not know.
When I’m not at ATPE, I am committed to volunteerism within my community. I serve as part of the Peer Support Program with the SAFE Alliance, Austin’s leader in ending sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse and domestic violence. I am also involved as a political volunteer with my county’s democratic party. In my free time, I love to bake and spend time with the children in my life.
My greatest accomplishment in life has been as a co-founder of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800.799.SAFE), which is based here in Austin. The Hotline was one of the first projects funded by the Violence Against Women Act. On opening day in 1996, our phone number was announced from the Rose Garden by President Bill Clinton. Today the Hotline has answered more than four million calls for help!
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