Winsome Earle-Sears hopes to lift children out of poverty through education
RICHMOND, Va. — When Winsome Earle-Sears is sworn in as Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, she will be the first woman and the first woman of color to assume the role.
But, she said she didn’t dwell on it.
“I didn’t race to be first. I knew it was a possibility, I just wanted to help out,” Earle-Sears said.
Earle-Sears, who went through Winsome Sears during the race on the advice of advisers, said she is reverting to her hyphenated surname, which includes her maiden name, Earle.
“When my father arrived in 1963, it was 17 days before MLK gave his ‘I have a dream speech’, so he arrived at the height of the civil rights movement, he came with only sixty- fifteen dollars,” Earle-Sears said. noted.
The Republican said her background as a Jamaican immigrant who came to the United States at the age of six shaped her worldview that, with hard work and an education, a child, even those living in poverty abject, can become anything he wants.
“I know wrestling, and I want all the kids to know that they can be here, they can do exactly what I did, there’s nothing special but stay in school and study,” Earle-Sears said. “Education will lift everyone out of poverty.”
We met Earle-Sears at Holly Knoll in Gloucester, which is the retirement home of Robert Moton, the second director of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Moton believed that black Americans should uplift through education, which Earle-Sears also preached.
In fact, she said it was precisely this issue that prompted her to run for lieutenant governor.
“I just saw our kids floundering and COVID made it worse because of all the closures,” Earle-Sears said. “You see what’s happening now in other states, unions are closing schools, it won’t work, it didn’t work, it didn’t work, it won’t work.”
She hopes to bring school choice to Virginia, through vouchers that would allow parents to choose where they want to send their children to school, whether it’s the local public school, a charter school or a private school. .
“We need competition in education, competition raises all boats, so if public schools aren’t open, give parents the option,” Earle-Sears said.
While the CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all students age two and older, Earle-Sears is concerned about forced masking.
“Children suffer from what I hear from speech therapists, especially younger ones. Children aren’t able to form their words, so they can watch their mouths,” Earle-Sears said.
She advises everyone to get the COVID shot, but she said no one should be forced to do so.
“That’s what they do in other countries. This is America, we have to protect our freedoms and we have to understand when enough is enough,” Earle-Sears said.
Earle-Sears said mental health care for children was an issue close to home.
Her daughter and two young granddaughters died in a car accident in 2012.
“My daughter when she was having her episodes, we didn’t know where she was, and there was one time when she was in jail because there was no hospital for her, and that happens all the time “, said Earle-Sears. “We have the money now that we can finally offer to take care of this.”
We continue to hear from parents facing child care challenges due to child care staffing issues, high costs and limited spaces.
Earle-Sears said she faced this herself as a mother of three, and she said she wanted to know more about the issue and was open to any solutions.