Clairelise Rodriguez is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

We’re always proud of our state CAN executive directors, each of whom is building a movement of education reform advocates to give every child in their state a great public school. 

But this week we have reason to be especially proud of NYCAN Founding Executive Director Christina Grant: she was one of only 19 advocates nationwide to be named a 2012 Ed Reform Champion by the Black Alliance for Educational Options at their 12th Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C (see the full list of “Ed Reform Champions Under 40” here).

When Christina first came to 50CAN she immediately turned heads with her no-nonsense approach to education reform advocacy–so much so that we actually made “The Champion” her official 50CAN nickname (you’ll see it if you mouse over her picture on our staff page). And after launching NYCAN less than two months ago, Christina is already leading the charge to close the achievement gap in the Empire State through NYCAN’s first legislative campaign, The Empire State Strikes Back

Christina says her former students are the spark behind her ed reform fire: “When I was a teacher, I sold my kids a dream: That if they worked hard and played nice, education would reward them. Now I have to make good on that promise.”

If you haven’t met Christina, this is the perfect opportunity! Get to know her, her team and the reforms they’re championing at 



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