The zip code you grow up in is the single biggest factor in determining if you will succeed in life. That’s not fair, and we need to fix it so every child has the opportunity to live the American Dream.
I’ve had access to every opportunity in life because my mom pulled herself out of poverty and into the middle class through education. I worked hard in great public schools and was accepted and graduated from a good college – but there is no doubt I was given opportunities that kids in the wrong zip code were not.
My mom’s my hero, and her example is the reason I joined Teach For America after college. I taught math in one of Dallas’ most challenged high schools. When the pandemic hit, I never left my school. I was called to do more. I helped lead food distribution drives and make our school safe so in-person instruction could continue.
I knew I needed to help more kids, so I earned my Master’s Degree in Education from Southern Methodist University and became the youngest principal in Dallas ISD. Our school strives to prepare students for the economy of tomorrow. In my first year, 98% of students graduated with their associate’s degree, and 100% were accepted to a 4-year university. All high schools should give students the option to earn their associate’s degree, enter the workforce with a credential in a high-paying field, or move on to college and beyond.
These opportunities need to be available to every kid and family, but our leaders in Congress have failed to deliver on the promise of a world-class education for every student across the country. They are simply too busy attacking teachers, banning books, and playing politics. What they are missing is that we have a high-quality teacher shortage, declining student achievement, and our country is becoming less competitive and less ready to tackle the immense challenges of the 21st century.
I’m running for Congress because a good education in a safe school shouldn’t be political. This moment requires a new generation of leadership to build a brighter future for everyone, in every zip code.