Carolyn T. Lowery has made it her life’s mission to change the harsh environments where grew up and still resides. She finds passion in helping the Phoenix youth escape hostile environments and is determined in helping her community find the right path through its harsh conditions.
Lowery will run for the District 8 seat in the Phoenix City Council election on Aug. 27.
Her interest in politics lies mainly in wanting to empower the youth, she said.
“I’m just a real person who has to do what I have to do,” Lowery said. “When you find your mission in life you don’t want to waste anymore time.”
Lowery believes in treating everyone equally, and expressed the want for people to stop intimidating and fighting one another, saying, “somebody has to change the world around us.”
In 1989 she started Kid’s Place, a summer and after-school program where children who are in abusive or neglected environments can feel at peace.
“Kid’s Place is a place for a kid to be a kid,” she said. “Kids take on too much responsibility in these environments.”
The center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school, Saturday from 10 to 2 p.m. and Kids Church on Sundays from 10 to 1 p.m. It offers counseling, tutoring, snacks and games for children to enjoy.
Lowery explained when parents are in jail or doing drugs in the home, their children become depressed and suffer from health risks such as asthma due to the bad air from drugs.
Kid’s Place is open to children between the ages of five and 15 to try for a day, and after only requiring a form to be filled out by a parent or guardian.
“My joy is working with our youth because old people don’t want to listen,” Lowery said.
Sylvia Scott, Kid’s Place assistant director, said she was initially fascinated with Lowery’s determination and motivation for children with her overall mission being to provide an open door 24 hours a day for at risk children to come to her.
“She lost two out of five children and one to suicide,” Scott said. “It’s deep in her and she’s spent her life committed to doing this.”
In 1985, Lowery was one of the Arizona Black United Fund founders, and received the Parents Magazine 1997 “As They Grow Award” at the White House from former first lady Hillary Clinton.
The ABUF is an organization that is determined in providing support to projects and programs that address critical needs of African American communities throughout the state of Arizona.
Scott said she has worked with Lowery for 15 years and doesn’t plan on leaving, adding that her goal in going for council “is to tell the truth.”
“I’m running for respect,” Lowery said. “I want to see prosperity on that city council when we have meetings.”