As a small business owner, I know the pride that comes with owning a business and the trials and problems that can arise. As we look to the future of the county, I am in support of small businesses being able to access small grants from the county through our American Rescue Plan Dollars. I also support the county partnering with the Center for Economic Development to offer low-interest loans to startups and small businesses to help them stay open and continue to be a part of the community.
As a former high school science teacher and K-8 administrator and now the owner of an education company, I know firsthand the challenges and difficulties that can come with being an educator. That is why I plan to continue to work with the Will County Regional Office of Education to improve schools in Will County and to create an incentivized system that will attract educators to work in Will County.
We must take care of our veterans and strengthen our county’s Veterans Assistance Commission. As a Combat Veteran I know the importance of having reliable resources, whether it be housing, mental healthcare, or employment. That is why I spearheaded the county becoming a Hidden Heroes designated county, which brought hundreds of additional resources to Will County.
Illinois is a beacon of light for many people living in surrounding states. The Will County Health Department adds to that hope through its numerous programs for women before, during, and after pregnancy. I will always protect and support women’s rights and support funding that keeps programs in place that increase accessibility, resources, and knowledge for women.
All residents deserve equitable access to resources and timely and relevant communication that informs them of community and government programs available to them. Will County received over $130 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, it is my duty to make sure all groups applying for funding to better serve our community are given their equitable share.
As our county grows and continues to be a passageway for 20% of U.S goods, I will always consider the impact on our roads, bridges, and streets. All residents should have safe pathways to live and work in Will County, and it is my job to make sure we allocate funds for this.
Born and raised in Joliet, I am a proud lifetime resident of Will County. In 2003, I was deployed to Iraq to serve in combat and as a military police officer. It was from this experience that I learned to fight for beliefs bigger than my own.
In 2007, I continued that same fight but this time I brought the courage and determination to the classroom. My desire to give back and help shape the next generation of leaders propelled me into the education field. I spent over 10 years in the traditional school setting as a chemistry and physics teacher and as an administrator. I currently own and operate After the Peanut, a STEM Education Company and Foundation.
I have worked with the NAACP, YMCA, Girls Scouts, National Hook Up of Black Women (Joliet), Fairmont Community Partnership and numerous churches, schools and other non-profits. Some of my professional work includes National Geographic Educator of the Week, National Science Teacher Association Conference Presenter, TED Innovative Educator, SXSWedu Mentor and Panelist and Women in STEM Entrepreneur Award Recipient for CKL Engineering.
Now I want to fight for the people of Will County to help continue the great work that has been started.
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This is the first in a series of online opportunities to learn more about Will County resources with Dr. Natalie Coleman, Will County Board Member District 7. This presentation will focus on funding available for community organizations and nonprofits through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Applications are open and due October 28, 2022.