Welcome to this week’s Women United Spotlight series. If you would like to learn more about the organization, click here. This week we are continuing to spotlight its members. Join us in learning more about Sandra Bankston and her connection to Women United.
What year did you join Women United?
What is your professional background and if you are currently working, what is the name of your company?
I am a licensed clinical social worker. I’ve worked for almost twenty-two years as a victim coordinator with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. Most of this time was with children at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center. I recently switched positions and I now am the sexual assault coordinator, specializing in working with adult victims.
What inspired you originally to be a part of Women United?
My youngest child started college, leaving me feeling as if a chapter of my parenting had come to a close. I was looking for something that would help me feel fulfilled and as if I were contributing to my community.
What does early childhood education mean to you? If possible, could you share a personal story of why it’s important to you?
I truly believe that the very early years lay the foundation for a child’s well-being over the course of a lifetime. Benjamin Mays stated, “He who starts behind in the great race of life must forever remain behind or run faster than the man in front.” We owe it to every child, regardless of zip code, to provide them the tools they require so they are not perpetually “running” to catch up.
What has surprised you most about being involved in Women United?
Too often, there is a stigma or stereotype that an organization that is comprised completely of women will be filled with in-fighting and cattiness. My experience has been completely the opposite – everyone is interested in camaraderie and empowering other women.
What does Women United mean to you?
I love Women United because it allows me an opportunity to be involved in things that mean the world to me. My mother was a children’s librarian who instilled a love for books and reading in me. Furthermore, I am from North Chicago and raised my children in Waukegan—two of Women United’s focus communities. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to make an impact in places that have personal significance for me.
What would you say to a woman who is interested in becoming a member of Women United?
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?