Advancing Communities for Equity was founded on decades of research that supports the impact of a high quality early education in lifelong success for all children. My particular interest in working with vulnerable populations was instilled in me from a young age by my mother. She grew up an orphan in abject poverty in Honduras and recognized that school was the pathway to stability and success. Her courage in coming to the U.S. changed her life and my future--inspiring me to dedicate my career to educational equity.
My teaching career started in the K-12 space, but quickly changed after Hurricane Katrina. When the storm washed away the middle school where I had taught for years, I got thrown into the world of early childhood. As the mother of two children under two, I needed child care myself--and 80% of early learning centers were closed. I joined a group of families as the founding executive director, opening the first new center after the storm, and I was immediately drawn to the optimism of the work: Through a quality early childhood education, it is possible to get ahead of the gaps in foundational skills I saw with my middle schoolers. I wondered, "Why aren't we, as a society, more invested on what we know leads to lifelong success?"
I took a position working at the Louisiana Department of Education to address the systemic challenges I had experienced as an early learning provider. Through systems-building structures, innovative pilots, initiatives, and policy, our team put transformational work in place, and helped to improve Louisiana's families' access to high quality early care. Advancing Communities for Equity is an opportunity to extend that impact and work more closely with likeminded leaders. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about what drives our organization.