What is the Parent Engagement Collaborative Action Network?

In collaboration with the National Parent Leadership Institute, the Parent Engagement Collaborative Action Network (PECAN) is the table where parents come together to inform systems level change for improvments in cradle to career outcomes.

PECAN Manifesto

Parents in our community are gravely concerned about the challenges facing their children, especially Black and Brown children. Parents have indisputable expertise based in part on their lived experience. Parents are highly motivated to partner with leaders and service providers to create a more effective infrastructure to improve outcomes for all our children. However, too frequently services and
systems-level efforts in Rochester have not included participant, family, or youth voices. When they have, often it has not been done in a meaningful way but rather as a token effort. This manifesto seeks to transform services for children in Rochester by utilizing families’ lived experience and expertise to shape, guide and lead.

Meet the New PECAN Co-Chairs

Meet Nahmese

Nahmese is the mother of two children, Nhaziah, grade 5 and Mehki, grade 11, who both attend World of Inquiry School #58. In addition to being a mother, parent leader, and community change agent, she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Business. In her role as co-chair, she wants to ensure that parents are seen as the experts in their children’s lives. She is looking forward to elevating the voices of parents by collaborating and organizing with other parent groups for the benefit of all children. What she wants parents to know is that it is imperative that they support one another and become informed about the policies that no longer serve our children. She wants parents to be effective change agents to disrupt and dismantle systems that are not meeting the needs of children. Her desire is for parents to be confident when advocating because she believes parents have the power to hold systems accountable. Once fun fact about Nahmese is that she loves to travel with her children and celebrate life.

Nahmese authored a blog about her experience at the building level in relation to getting her kids signed up for return to in-person learning. Read more here and see her tips for parent advocacy.

Meet Maurice

Maurice is the proud father of Maurice, Jr., age 12 and Malcolm, age 7, both of World of Inquiry School #58. He serves as the MultiSite Director for Quad A for Kids. In his role as co-chair, he is most looking forward to representing parent voice in change settings. He wants parents to know that they have the power to engage, explore and create change in the systems that impact the children of the village. One fun fact about Maurice is that he love audiobooks. He listens to at least 4 books per month.

RCSD students; roc the future, rochester, ny

Help Us Make an Impact

We want you to be a part of our collective impact. You can make a difference in the future of Rochester City School District’s students. Whether you’re a parent, an educator, a local business, or a concerned citizen, we need your help. Contact us today to help us provide strategic assistance, network communications, and high-quality resources for students.


Action for a Better Community, represented by
Jerome Underwood
Gladys Pedraza-Burgos

Center for Governmental Research*, represented by
Erika Rosenberg

The Children’s Agenda*, represented by
Jeff Kaczorowski‡
Larry Marx†

Children’s Institute*, represented by
Ann Marie White
Terry Hartmann†‡
Dirk Hightower† (School Readiness Outcome Team)

City of Rochester, represented by
Mayor Lovely Warren
Sandra Simon‡, ROC the Future Secretary

Common Ground Health, represented by
Wade Norwood
Dina Faticone

East High School in Partnership with the University of Rochester, represented by
Shaun Nelms†, ROC the Future Chair
Lorna Washington

ESL Federal Credit Union, represented by
Ajamu Kitwana†
Maureen Wolfe

Farash Foundation, represented by
Megan Bell
Holli Budd‡

Great Schools for All, represented by
Don Pryor
Mark Hare

Greater Rochester Health Foundation, represented by
Matthew Kuhlenbeck
Heidi Burke

Healthy Baby Network, represented by
Sherita Bullock (Perinatal Collaborative Action Network)

Ibero American Action League, represented by
Angelica Perez-Delgado‡

JPMorgan Chase, represented by
Matthew Duncan

Monroe Community College, represented by
Andrea Wade
Shawanda Evans

Monroe County, represented by
Corinda Crossdale

Nazareth College, represented by
Daan Braveman
Katie DaBoll-Lavoie
Lisa Hiley† (School Readiness Outcome Team)

North East Charter School Network, represented by
Anna Hall
Ashara Baker

NYS Senate, represented by
Senator Joe Robach

Rochester Area Community Foundation*, represented by
Jennifer Leonard
Simeon Banister
Chris Dandino (Expanded Learning Opportunities Collaborative Action Network)

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, represented by
Adrian Hale

NYS Assembly, represented by
Assemblymember Harry Bronson

Rochester City Council, represented by
Malik Evans

Rochester City School Board, represented by
Van White

Rochester City School District, represented by
Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small
Annmarie Lehner

Rochester Education Foundation, represented by
Stuart Hencke (College Access Collaborative Action Network)

Rochester Educational Opportunity Center, represented by
Roosevelt Mareus†‡

Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative
Leonard Brock
Takiyah Butler

Rochester Public Library, represented by
Patricia Uttaro
Tolley Reeves

St. John Fisher College, represented by
Kevin Railey
Dianne Cooney-Miner

The College at Brockport, represented by
Heidi Macpherson
Katy Heyning

The United Way, represented by
Jaime Saunders
Jenn Cathy

US Congressman Joe Morelle

US Senator Kristen Gillibrand, represented by
Sarah Clark

*Provides backbone staff support
†Executive Committee

ROC the Future at the Children’s Institute
274 N. Goodman Street, Suite D103
Rochester, NY 14607

Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM