Tavares Perkins, a Bridgeport native, has made it his mission to give back to his community in more ways than one. “After several years working in finance, I realized I was working a profession I did not love," reflected Tavares during our interview. That void led him back to college, studying toward a Master’s in Education. Tavares has now been a teacher in the Bridgeport School District for 7 years and this year, won the prestigious award of Outstanding Teacher of the Year 2016, for Bridgeport Public Schools.
In 2014, Tavares created a community boys group at his school that focuses on the importance of giving back and community service. Tavares mentors boys ages 10-16, teaching them life skills, social and physical awareness and has traveled with youth on FCA's annual college tour. “I do what I can because it is important to give back and I know the benefit of having positive role models in your life,” Tavares said about why he started the boys group.
Tavares lives by several mottos, “do something that makes you happy,” and “live your life as a good example,” he says. These sentiments led him to work with FCA in Norwalk. Supporting FCA's Foster Care program as a respite worker, Perkins provides social weekend activities for children in foster care, allowing "free-time" for foster parents to run errands or attend appointments. Outside of FCA, Tavares works and volunteers with children in his community. “This is the neighborhood where I grew up, the issues I see here, no one else is going to fix it for me,” he says. Perkins prefers to work locally because he wants to give back to children who need to see positive examples of men from their environment.
In May, the Bridgeport Public Education Fund honored Tavares for Excellence in Education with the Bridgeport's Outstanding Teacher of the Year 2016. "It was a shocking and exciting, yet humbling moment for me,” says Tavares. He was unknowingly nominated by his school principal and peers. "Although it feels good when people recognize you, I do this because it’s what I love." Tavares urges those who want to do more in their community to be open to helping in a different way. “It’s not always about spending your money. Time is a very valuable currency, pour into someone's life any way you can, while you have the time and energy.”
Tavares is a remarkable example of being a service to others. FCA is proud to have friends who believe and support the mission of the Agency in their day-to-day lives.
Tags: Foster Care