Community Development Coordinator

As a native to Brooklyn, NY, Carla was able to both see and experience the shift in a city that once considered itself a leader in education reform. At the age of 12, she moved to Cape Cod, MA where she was able to receive an entirely new form of instruction – but she was struck by the realization that she had only inherited an education that many in the areas near her hometown would likely have to fight to receive. Understanding the political and social orders that kept these systems in place engrossed her from that point on.

Carla moved on to West Virginia University, where her unique and comprehensive Child Development & Family and Youth Studies program began to prepare her for her many roles; she has been a teacher, supported in both general and special education classrooms, and worked in adult education and admissions advising. The work she held most closely to her heart in these roles, however, was advocating for the students most impacted by the inequalities in our education system.

Today, Carla is dedicated to not only unveiling the systems and organizations that continue to widen our nation’s achievement gaps, but also becoming an integral part of the education reform efforts being made to counteract them.

I aspire to be like my mentor. Here’s why: 

She has a heart of gold. She is BRILLIANT, innovative, kind, and an amazing mother. She has taught me the importance of taking your passions and convictions with you in all of the work that you do. I was lucky to have met her so soon after moving to Denver from NY, and I could never thank her enough for pushing me in all the right ways.

Why I love my job:

This is the only education organization I have been a part of that takes time to understand the communities it serves, celebrates and welcomes diversity, and finally, supports those who are most impacted by the gaps in our education system. Mission orientation is critical to my happiness at work.

My connection to public schools: 

I went to public schools my entire life, and was able to experience a variety of curriculum based off of very different achievement expectations at each school. I look forward to living in a world that believes every family in every neighborhood should have access to a quality education through their public schools, first.

What I’m bad at: 

Not sympathy crying. I really just can’t help it. TV shows, movies, in-person – you name it – I am going to sympathy cry.

This image represents why I work at 50CAN: 

This is where it all started for me: P.S.139 in Brooklyn, NY. There was such a strong sense of community for the families attending this school – and that community was built by the parents themselves, outside of the school. We truly had what felt like a neighborhood family. Our families wanted the best for us; I only wish all of the schools we went to reflected that.