Originally from Chicago, Richardson is a veteran of the United States Army and continues to work with the Department of Defense. She has spent more than 28 years in federal government service.
She volunteers with the Kindness and Respect for Everyone (KARE) committee, a group with school officials and community partners.
“We bring diverse perspectives with the intent to collaborate, strategize and make recommendations geared towards moving our school culture forward,” she said.
She said it’s important to have a group like this because students are the customers in the educational system and their voices matter.
“Yes, we care about you scoring well on tests but we also want to know why you are eating lunch by yourself,” she said. “Engaging our students and listening to our students emphatically shows them that we care.”
Teresa Morgan, superintendent of Hardin County School, met Richardson when she served on the Bluegrass Middle School principal section hiring committee
“I was immediately impressed with her commitment to the students of Bluegrass and then went on to learn of her commitment to our community,” Morgan said.
As she’s chaired the KARE committee, Morgan said Richardson showed leadership and compassion for all students.
“She is committed to being involved and working hard to be a difference maker in our community,” she said. “I am most impressed with her willingness to do just more than talk, she takes action and makes action happen.”
At a board meeting, Morgan said Richardson met a family and their child. Before the end of the meeting, Richardson had set up a mentorship for the student.
“She made the arrangements with the family that evening and the student continues with that mentorship today,” Morgan said. “Her willingness to get involved at the foundational level is having an impact and making our community a better place.”
Students, Richardson said, are a valuable asset and each one is different.
Through KARE, Richardson said, students can discuss real issues and concerns from inside and out of the walls of a school. It also gets students to make an impact with innovated way to improve school culture and move the school forward, she said.
In today’s culture, students face a number of obstacles that include equality issues, drugs, mental wellbeing, bullying, cyber bullying, food insecurities, gangs and the impact of COVID on their social and emotional learning, she said.
When she started volunteering, she said she did it because of a passion to empower others and a heart for youth.
“I love volunteering because it allows me to connect with my community and make a difference,” she said. “Volunteering affords me the opportunity to see the great potential in others and allows me to act upon it.”
She said she can relate to area students and it drives her passion to give back.
Growing up in Chicago, she said, is no different than in Hardin County.
“My parents are the backbone of who I am today but my teachers who challenged me, role models, older family members and positive community members were instrumental in my development,” she said, adding it really does take a village to help students.
She called giving back to students God’s designed purpose for her life.
“Giving back allows us to be the vehicle of change,” she said. “I’m very passionate about seeing people thrive and flourish.”
If she can empower one, she said, the hope is that they can then empower someone else.
“When we show our students how much we care, it’s in that moment we have made an impact that can transform that student life forever,” Richardson said.
She’s also in leadership at Kingdom Life Worship Center and a part of the Keys Community Center in Radcliff. The center is a place for a free youth after-school program, mentoring program for students ages 10-18, college readiness and a food pantry program that’s partnered with Feeding America.
“These programs are important because it helps cultivate and strengthen our community as a whole,” she said. “They will help to empower our community by making a positive impact and help every individual maximize their potential.”
Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416 email@example.com.