We are pleased to highlight Prudence Anderson Leusch as our third Black Women Roc! feature for the Month of June
How does it feel to be nominated for the 2018 Black Women Roc! Campaign
PA: It feels great! Frankly, I was surprised at this nomination.
When did you begin the community engagement work that you do?
PA: I started my community engagement work in April 2013
What inspires you to continue to work hard for the Rochester Community!
PA: Watching the children at the library improve in their reading skills, which, in turn, positively impacts other areas of their lives.
For you how does your business or area of expertise relate to wellness?
PA: Better reading skills raises self-esteem. Some studies show that increased self-esteem leads to fewer instances of frustration and anger.
How do you stay mentally and physically healthy ?
PA: My faith is the basis of my well- being. I love all fruits and veggies and consume a variety of both on a daily basis.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your community engagement?
PA: I work in a neighborhood where there are a lot of low income families. Many of these families are headed by one parent who may work more than one job. I find myself frequently working with children who haven’t had a meal for several hours. Such conditions make it difficult for the children to concentrate.
What are you working on now?
PA: Currently we are preparing for our Summer Reading Program at the Arnett Branch Library. This is always an exciting time of year. The participants read during the Summer months, attend programs, and win prizes, sometimes without even realizing that they are helping to improve their grades when they return to school.
What’s has been your best experience as a Black female change agent in Rochester?
PA: So far, my best experience has been seeing and hearing some of our children, who speak foreign languages, read and speak English with more fluency.
What has been your biggest challenge as a Black female change agent in Rochester?
PA: My biggest challenge so far has been lack of parent participation. This may be due to the challenges that the parent has at home, involving work, school, etc.
Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
PA: I have not given up on these challenges. I will continue to encourage parents and their children to engage in reading together.
What advice do you have for other women interested in community activism/engagement work?
PA: Follow your passion.