Robert Powell served as a classroom Para Educator for 15 years and during this time received the State Illinois Education Association (IEA) Educational Support Professional of the Year (ESPOTY)award and was nominated for the National ESPOTY. Most recently he was the Vocational Job coach giving students on the job training and experience while also connecting students with jobs in the community. Robert has served on the IEA ESP Council, on the IEA Board of directors, and as chair of IEA Region 27 which contains 7 school districts with 11 local bargaining units. He is an IEA/NEA Trainer on teambuilding. He is a statewide virtual co facilitator for Leaders for Just Schools a program that tackles racial and social justice inequity and seeks to repair the harm caused by disparity in the classroom and workplace. He sits on several committees that advocate for the advancement of ESP’s and education in underserved communities. For over 20 years he has in various rolls served as a volunteer in Cook County Department of Corrections, and IDOC through Prison Fellowship leading a course on life’s healing choices.