Empowering Education and Community: A Journey of Advocacy and Leadership

A passion for supporting children and fostering community connections has led Ally Surface into a remarkable journey of advocacy and leadership. Her career path to Director of the Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD’s Education Foundation was carved through tireless volunteer efforts and an unwavering dedication to making a difference in the lives of students, educators, and families.

Ally found her calling early on, engaging with schools and parents through various parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and serving in numerous officer positions, including President of the Council of PTAs. The PTA’s focus on student health, safety, and educational opportunities resonated deeply with her, igniting a desire to create positive change in the educational landscape.

Her advocacy extended beyond school walls, venturing into the heart of the community. Inspired by a heartfelt encounter with a father facing food insecurity, Ally spearheaded The Most Charitable Campus program. This initiative allowed students to donate canned food items and coin drives, supporting the local food pantry Community Link Mission. Not only did the program serve as a vital restocking activity, but it also educated families about available resources, bridging the gap for those in need.

Ally’s dedication to her community led her to contribute as a district leader on various
committees, offering a valuable parent perspective and shaping planning models to meet the needs of a rapidly growing district. Her involvement in organizations like CPAC, DPAC, ASPIRE, and Connect for Safety highlighted her commitment to improving the lives of students beyond the classroom.

Empathy and a strong desire for inclusivity further motivated Ally’s activism. Teaming up with her friend Misty Farr, she championed the cause of an all-inclusive playground in Saginaw, advocating for a public space that would accommodate children of all abilities and seniors with limited mobility. Their efforts culminated in the creation of Willow Creek Station Park, a cherished community hub for generations to come.

As a leader, Ally emphasizes the importance of listening, understanding, and creating an inclusive environment where everyone’s voice is heard and appreciated. She encourages aspiring young women to develop these qualities, as true leadership emerges from collaboration and empowering others.

In her role as the Director of the EMS ISD Education Foundation, Ally leverages her expertise in relationship-building to prioritize community partnerships. She emphasizes the significance of engaging local businesses with public education, ensuring they recognize their role in nurturing the next generation of ethical, empathetic, and skilled workers. The foundation also manages charitable scholarships and classroom resource grants, fostering a culture of support and collaboration among educators and community members.

Through the highs and lows of her journey, including a personal battle with breast cancer, Ally finds solace and strength in writing. Embracing language as a healing power, she encourages children to express themselves through writing, believing that everyone has something important to say when language unites rather than divides.

Ally’s remarkable career embodies the essence of true leadership and community empowerment. Her passion for children’s welfare, dedication to inclusivity, an commitment to building meaningful connections continue to enrich lives. As her journey unfolds, she stands as an inspiration to women aspiring to lead and create positive change in their communities.

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