For the past 14 years, Gloria “Ginger” Cole, Ed.D. has served as Soroptimist International of Los Angeles Club President; and Camino Real Region Secretary, Parliamentarian, Governor-Elect, and Governor. In September 2021, she will be installed as a board director at the next highest level of the organization, Soroptimist International of the Americas. As a Soroptimist Board Member, Dr. Cole will contribute to the future thinking and oversight of the organizations finances and strategy, as well as champion efforts to increase Soroptimist’s collective impact in helping women and girls around the world to lead better lives.
Dr. Cole is a career educator/administrator who “repurposed” her life after a 32 year career with the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is an educational consultant, grant writer, and the Founder of Parent Resources and Educational Partnerships (P.R.E.P.), which is under the umbrella of its parent company Cole Avent & Associates, Inc., and is an outgrowth of her doctoral research, “Creating a System that Works: Partnership Alliances that Improve Student Achievement and Parent Advocacy”. P.R.E.P partners with community and faith-based organizations to facilitate workshops which focus on teaching parents how to advocate for and support their children in school. She attended California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education; and, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), achieving a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Cole shares that education has been the foundation upon which she has built her life, and creating avenues that lead to equity and access in education is something that has become a personal mission. Much of her community service has been through one of two organizations that work with the public to affect change:
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a not-for-profit organization (founded in 1913) whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Ginger is celebrating 50 years of membership this year;
- Soroptimist International, a global volunteer organization (founded in 1921) that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. She has been a member since 2007.
When asked about her experience with Soroptimist, Dr. Cole reflects: A significant event in my life occurred in 2007 when I was invited to attend the convention of an organization about which I knew very little. It was figuratively and literally a journey of a lifetime – an adventure across the pond to Glasgow, Scotland and the unique opportunity to be introduced to Soroptimist International. There, I learned about the organization’s mission and goals, while in fellowship with women from the then 136 member countries. I met Soroptimist Leaders who worked at the local, region, federation and international levels – and connected with Soroptimists throughout the world. That experience was the beginning of a 14-year commitment with the organization. She considers herself a “Servant Leader” and believes in leading not only from behind, but working as hard as her colleagues and team members to affect change — not to be content with status quo. Believing in the power of relationships, connectivity, commitment, passion, and enthusiasm, Ginger says that Soroptimist tapped her on the shoulder and afforded her the opportunity to lead.
Extracurricular opportunities and volunteerism have been hallmarks in Ginger’s life. In high school, she was drum major of the band and toured with the vocal group Up With People; in college, she was in the A Capella Choir and joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. During her professional career, she sang in church and various community choirs, organized community music events, and had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall. Ginger also participated in several 10K walks and completed her first half marathon. In 2018, she was a keynote speaker at an International Education Convention in Beijing and Hangzhou, China. Throughout her professional career she has received recognition from City, County, State, U. S. Congress, and U. S. Senate representatives. She was honored by Business Life Magazine as a Woman Achiever in 2016; and an honor of which she is most proud, was her 2010 induction into her high school’s Alumni Hall of Fame in the category of Education.
An extremely proud mom, Ginger has one daughter, Dr. Gail Cole-Avent, who is currently Associate Vice President of Student Life at California State University, San Marcos.