Bronx Teacher Talks Mary J. Blige, Volunteering and Love for Students & Career
Tammi Butler is an educator by day and a supporter of nonprofits during her free time. She’s actively involved with several organizations, including the Episcopal Social Services of New York and Woman of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity (WEST).
“It’s been a great opportunity, we specialize in mentoring youth and I was blessed four years ago to be hired to work for Mary J Blige’s FFAWN foundation (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc.). It was amazing, our youth needs help and you can never give them enough.”
An upcoming project is working with actress Phyllis Yvonne Stickney. “She’s hosting Cultivating Excellence, a conference in New Jersey and the mayor of Newark [Cory Booker] is sponsoring, basically we are inspiring one another. Why be ordinary when you can extraordinary is the theme,” she shares.
Butler also volunteers her time with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Manhattan Chapter, “We’re instrumental in providing health, fitness and financial literacy to women of all walks of life. We empower others. We recently piggybacked [on] Susan Taylor’s National CARES Mentoring Movement to mentor young women.”
Why she volunteers? “I never had a mentor growing up. I did have women who raised me who were stern, yet fair. I am so appreciative of that and now it’s time for me to give back. You can never have enough information and there’s so much information out here. We are all a wealth of knowledge. We all must share; it comes back tenfold.”
In light of the skepticism of the impact that teachers are having on education, Butler loves her career. “I teach at Middle School 45 in the Bronx. They keep me young, hip and energetic. I love it. I have been doing it for 12 years. It’s a blessing to be able to do so many great things with the Board of Education. Teachers, unfortunately, don’t get the credit we deserve. But you know what? We are fierce and fabulous, and without us there would be no schools.” –yvette caslin