National nonprofit develops local education leaders from diverse backgrounds as the Latino student population grows in Texas

ALLF Houston 2019 Group Photo

HOUSTON, TX, September 12, 2019 — Twenty-two Latino education leaders were selected to join the first cohort of the Aspiring Latino Leaders Fellowship in HoustonCreated by Latinos for Education, the fellowship is a yearlong program that helps Latino education leaders connect with each other, move with influence, and advance in their education careers by expanding their sphere of influence.  

The Aspiring Latino Leaders Fellowship is the first of its kind in Houston to support leadership pathways for local Latinos within the education sector.  

Texas is one of six states that attributes all its population growth between 2000 and 2010 to the increase in its Latino population. As the Latino student population grows, Latinos for Education is committed to developing education leaders who share the backgrounds of our students.  

Like the nearly three million Latino students across Texasthis year’s inaugural cohort includes Fellows from across the Latino diaspora. These education leaders are working across the sector including local K-12 school(district and charter), education nonprofits, philanthropy and government agencies.

“At Latinos for Education, we are intentionally cultivating Latino leadership and not leaving increasing diversity in education up to chance,” says Andy Canales, Executive Director of Latinos for Education in Houston. Through this fellowship, we are developing a pipeline of Latino leaders that is currently untapped.” 

The first cohort of the Houston Aspiring Latino Leaders Fellowship began their leadership journey the weekend of September 6th with an immersive leadership retreatOne of the Fellows reflected on the weekend sharing, “This fellowship has cultivated a valued space for reflection and connection with other passionate, driven professionals. I am grateful for the intentionality behind the activities and conversations we shared this weekend. This fellowship feels like meaningful professional development done the Latinx way.”  

Fellows will participate in monthly sessions through May 2020 

The 201cohort of the Houston – Aspiring Latino Leader Fellowship includes: 

  • Andrea Aguilera, Policy Coordinator, Teach Plus 
  • Jacqueline Beas, Assistant Principal, Aldine ISD 
  • Jose Bolivar, College Counselor, KIPP Texas Public Schools 
  • Hilda Elizondo, Program Specialist VI, Texas Education Agency 
  • Myrla Feria, Leadership Coach, TNTP
  • Fernanda Flores-Bolivar, Principal, Aldine ISD 
  • Daniel Lopez, Senior Manager, Houston ISD – EMERGE 
  • Maria Maradiaga, Program Director – ACE, YES Prep Public Schools
  • Alejandro Martinez, Wraparound Resource Specialist, Houston ISD 
  • Franco Martinez, Scholar Relations Coordinator, The Terry Foundation 
  • Rachel Martinez, Principal, Spring Branch ISD 
  • Brenda MenchacaLiteracy Specialist, Baker Ripley – Promise Community Schools 
  • Nicholas Mendoza, Director of Educator Leadership & Engagement, Teach For America 
  • Dulce Negreros, Founding Principal, KIPP Texas Public Schools 
  • Sandra Nuñez, Director of Districts, EMERGE Fellowship 
  • Ahime Ornelas, Assistant Principal, Goose Creek CISD 
  • Romaira Rodriguez, Bilingual Teacher, Houston ISD 
  • Xochitl Salazar, Coordinator of Federal & Special Programs, Tomball ISD 
  • Yoali Salgado, Data & Program Evaluation Specialist, Genesys Works 
  • Mariel Sanchez, Senior Program Manager, PAIR – Houston 
  • Nadine Tavera, Project Manager, Baker Ripley 
  • Roberto TreviñoDirector of College Counseling, YES Prep Public Schools 

To access bios and photos of the 2019 Aspiring Latino Leader Fellows, click here.  

About Latinos for Education: 

Latinos for Education is mobilizing a network of skilled Latino education leaders, who make sure the voice of Latino students and families is not only heard but also factored into decision-making in schools, communities and education institutions throughout the U.S. Our Aspiring Latino Leaders Fellowship and Latino Board Fellowship programs accelerate the careers of Latino professionals while providing them with the training, connections and support they need to succeed and create change. We’re also ensuring Latino education professionals have access to job and professional development opportunities across the country through our members-only Talent Hub. With more Latinos in positions of influence, Latino children are more likely to achieve their full potential in the classroom and in life. For more information visit: