With the graduation of 16 new PEP education advocates, we now have 70 PEP graduates (four cohorts) living and working in Pitt County. That means 70 parents and community members who committed their time and energy for a whole school year as they became empowered and equipped to advocate for the highest quality public education possible in Pitt County. Our 16 most recent graduates were each recognized on May 15 at a ceremony in the Pitt County Schools board room. Superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker spoke to the group, reminding them that they are a true asset to our county and that he often tells other superintendents what a great support network we have of parent advocates here in Pitt County. At the ceremony, graduates gave a brief report of their individual leadership plans, a project each of them will complete within the next year to enhance a Pitt County School, or Pitt County schools in general. Projects ranged from beautification, to beginning a parent welcoming group for new families, to increasing business connections with schools, to serving as an overall leader to raise awareness of Parents for Public Schools and Pitt County Schools in the community, and more. Those who completed the PEP program this past year, attending at least 7 of the 8 classes included: Jonathan Sergeant, N’antal Brooks, Ginger Grimes, Leigh Guth, Sharon Smith, Tywanna Purkett, Ashley Watkins, Lori Jones, DeVont’e Arrington, Amy Cole, Emi McCall, Tracy Everette-Lenz, Nada Manning, and Mashan Arthur. Congratulations!