Alisha Ogden is a single parent who shouldn’t have even one spare second, but she has found time over the last two years to support other parents in navigating the special education system for their children with disabilities as a volunteer parent mentor.
Having been called “mom” by over 15 foster kids in 7 years, Alisha adopted three daughters, is awaiting final adoption proceedings for a foster son and had no idea of what an Individual Education Program was or what you did with one. As the needs and experiences of her foster kids changed, so did the need for her to understand the crazy world of special education. After her local district proposed reducing one of her kid’s school day to a half-day program, she knew she needed to know more about meeting the educational needs of kids in her care. She contacted MPACT and neither Alisha nor MPACT has been the same since! She wanted to learn everything there was to know about special education. While she may not know everything yet, she knows a lot and shares her knowledge willingly as she helps parents prepare for and attends meeting with them.
One of Alisha’s biggest surprises came in seeing need to support parents in making sure their voice is heard and that the parent can share their child’s strengths and challenges. She’s seen some school districts minimize the parent’s voice and said that MPACT helped her to feel confident in being able to help other parents. When asked why she mentors, Alisha said because she loves helping others and knows how MPACT helped her. Alisha and her children live in the Belton, Missouri area.