Stars Community Feature

Sonya Thomas

Executive Director & Co-Founder, Nashville PROPEL

After noticing the need for better education resources for students like her son, Sonya Thomas created a way for parents to help offer the best education for their children. She is the executive director and co-founder for the organization Nashville PROPEL (Parents Requiring Our Public Education System to Lead).

Their mission is to organize and develop powerful parent leaders to ignite a movement that demands equitable education policies and practices in the Nashville public education system. Sonya noticed a problem when her son was in the 7th grade reading at a 2nd grade level, and she was not the only parent having these kinds of issues.

“I never want another parent to feel the way that I felt,” said Thomas. “I knew other parents were having the same feelings.”

She now leads a group of empowered parents to disrupt potential inequities in education. Sonya developed Nashville PROPEL as a program where the parents are the partners in their children’s learning, helping parents learn about what they can do to help find the best resources for their child.

“One event we put on is the Public School Choice Fair,” said Thomas. “This event educates parents on the options they have for their children in the Nashville school system.”

Parents can meet with representatives from different schools in the city to see what works best for their child. It also provides resources for parents such as financial literacy and mental health.

For additional information, visit their website at