As part of our Black History Month celebration, APS is highlighting Alumni Trailblazers. These individuals created their own path to success and have paved the way for future students. The alumni will be highlighted on social media all month.
Mr. Earl L. Valentine, Jr. is a native Arlingtonian of Arlington View formally know as Johnson Hill. Upon his retirement from the government, Mr. Valentine has worked for Arlington County Parks and Recreation for the past 17 years. He has held numerous leadership positions with the Prince Hall Masons & Shriners Club. While holding these positions, he has mentored small children to the elderly. Mr. Valentine is a life long member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church and avid member of all sports. His contributions to the community, his desire to support the youth and his devotion to be a husband, father, and grandfather is why he was chosen as an APS trailblazer.
Jackie Moore a native Arlingtonian from the Nauck Community is giving back to the community in numerous ways. Mr. Moore is the owner of J.R. Moore & Sons, a family owned general contracting firm. Through this firm he has assisted low income families by providing renovations for adequate housing. In addition, he has been a contributor of repairs and improvements to historically black church buildings. Mr. Moore is a mentor that supports The Tony Bentley basketball camp in numerous ways. He is a major contributor and coach. He enjoys talking to Wakefield’s Senior Class about life after high school, entrepreneurship, building skills and setting goals. Mr. Moore was chosen as a trailblazer because of his outstanding commitment to the community.
Ingrid Gant is a native Arlingtonian from the Nauck Community. She is a mother, educator, mentor and an Ordained Minister at Lomax AME Zion Church. Employed at a very young age, Ms. Gant started at Arlington County Parks and Recreation as a Program Director and Center Supervisor. She also worked as an educator, teaching special needs students at Kenmore Middle School. Her passion is coaching numerous competitive cheerleading and step teams throughout the metropolitan area. Ingrid is a strong advocate for all people, and enjoys working with children, particularly teens and youth. Currently she is serving her second term as the elected President of the Arlington Education Association. She continues to strive for better working conditions for all employees and creates a wall to wall professional organization where every voice matters. Ms. Gant was chosen as a trailblazer for her continued support in her church, community and Arlington Public Schools.
Marcia Olivia Wright, Esq. is a lawyer, activist, public speaker and culinary artist. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Marcia is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, and The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, DC where she earned her Juris Doctor. Marcia is very active in her community. She is dedicated to mentoring youth in the Northern Virginia, District of Columbia and Maryland areas through a Womanhood Training Rites of Passage program. Marcia travels with her mentees to Ghana, West Africa to participate in a traditional Crossover ritual. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., former member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Delta Education and Community Service Foundation, and a former Commissioner with the Arlington County Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition to practicing law, Marcia has a deep passion for nutrition, healing and cooking good food. She is the owner of Sweet Mossie’s and Sweet Mossie’s Stew Pot Spot, a growingly popular private chef and stew pot company. Marcia was chosen as a trailblazer because of her commitment to the community and our youth.
In the coming weeks, we will also highlight Tonya Chapman, Timothy Spicer, Jr., Tyra Thompson and Sharon Mondé.
For more on our Black History Month celebration, visit https://www.apsva.us/black-history-month/.