The Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition (SPARC) announced that it will present its annual Community Action Award to Teran Peterson this month.

A Sun Prairie realtor and activist, the 25-year-old Peterson is active in the African American Parents Network, Community Schools, and many other community organizations.

She initiated the Black Student Union at Patrick Marsh Middle School, a group devoted to connecting kids to each other, providing welcoming spaces, building team leaders, and fostering a spirit of inclusiveness.

Peterson, who grew up on the east side of Madison, was thrust into a parenting role at an early age. Five years ago, when she was in college, her mother’s stroke precipitated a series of events that culminated with Peterson adopting her two siblings, now aged 16 and 13.

Peterson is very involved and supportive of Sun Prairie schools. She can often be found buying a student lunch at Culver’s for their “act of kindness” for the week.

“Food is a great motivator,” Peterson said, and she backs it up with more than her share of family dinners and chili cook-offs.

Peterson noted that no district-wide plan existed for celebrating Black History Month in Sun Prairie and helped change that, formulating 33 events in that first year without any official funding. Armed with a grant from American Family, last year she helped 46 events get off the ground.

As a “Neighborhood Navigator” in the Vandenberg area, Peterson serves as a point person for what her neighbors may need.

Peterson’s philosophy can be summed up with the question she routinely poses. “How are we going to fix this?”

Heather DuBois Bourenane of SPARC lauded the choice of Peterson. “I love the grass roots spirit of the work she is doing,” she said.

The public is invited to join SPARC in celebrating Teran Peterson’s award at the annual SPARC Winter Social. The event is free and open to all who wish to attend on Sunday, December 15 at the Cannery Wine Bar and Tasting Room in downtown Sun Prairie from 4-6 p.m.

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