Parent and Educator Commits to Her Community

Maribel Lopez was an eager six-year-old when she first stepped into San Pablo’s Dover Elementary School in 1986. Fifteen years later, she returned to Dover as a School Community Outreach Worker and led parent engagement efforts there for nine years.

The experience led Maribel to focus her energy on the classroom, and in 2011 she joined Teach for America to become a bilingual teacher at Dover.

For Maribel, the belief that all students deserve a quality education is deeply personal. She attended Helms Middle School and graduated from Richmond High School in 1998. Some of her most vivid memories as a student center on teachers who took time to connect with her and hold her to high standards.

A Passion for Social Justice

Maribel is driven by the understanding that higher education has positively impacted her life. She knows it can also change life outcomes for countless other students in WCCUSD. As a teacher, Maribel taught rigorous academic content and worked one-on-one with English Language Learners. She also reached out to parents, accommodating busy schedules and focusing on authentic partnerships.

Parents, increasingly eager to be involved, trusted Maribel with honest conversations about challenges, as well as dreams for their children’s futures.

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Empowering Parents to Create Change

Now a parent of two students in WCCUSD schools, Maribel understands the importance of engaging families. She works at GO Public Schools West Contra Costa as the Director of Community Leadership, working alongside the community to champion family leadership. In this role, she helps elevate parent voices to pursue excellence and success for their children.

Her work ensures that a strong base of parent and community leaders informs the community’s direction and decision-making for students.

“Our community faces challenges, ” Maribel says. “Yet, more than anything, I am grounded by the hope and belief that if families, educators and our community work together, outcomes can and will improve for our students. I am committed to this work to ensure we do right by our kids.”