Education Foundation gets new director

Published 9:21 pm Monday, October 19, 2015

Renyatta Banks has recently taken on the role of executive director at the Suffolk Education Foundation.

“I absolutely love nonprofits,” Banks said. “I just love helping.”



After taking an internship during her senior year of college for an organization that helped those struggling with HIV/AIDS, Banks became interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit work, she said. Among the nonprofit organizations she has been involved with, she was the executive director of the YWCA Virginia Peninsula and the director of development for both the Empowerment and Uplifting Foundation and Essentials for Life, she said.

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But each nonprofit is different, and if an employee doesn’t love what that particular one stands for, it’s probably not going to work out, she said. “You have to love that nonprofit and its mission.”

The Suffolk Education Foundation helps fund things for the school system. One example of what the organization might fund is a second-grade class trip to a farm, she said.

“Their mission is coming to life every day,” Banks said of the SEF.

Teachers and principals apply online for grants from the foundation. Foundation representatives follow up with grantees in the schools to see how things are going, she said. She looks forward to administering grants in the spring. “We try our best to help everyone,” she said.

Banks has been with the Suffolk Education Foundation for about a month, and in this position she will coordinate fundraisers, write grants and more. Right now, she is learning the ropes of the organization and reviewing its policies and procedures, she said.

She hopes to continue to improve the organization’s social media presence and update its website. New next year, the organization will be holding its first adult spelling bee, she said.