Every once in a while, an individual comes home, brings with them their life and education experience and pays it forward in a way that truly inspires and affects the next generation of students.
In a South Florida community that is so rapidly changing, we need to ensure our students are prepared to take on the challenges of an ever-changing world, a job market that has yet to be created, and a democracy that is being tested. Their future is now and because of that comes the next generation of School Board Member – Luisa Santos.
Luisa represents everything great about Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) and is working to write the next chapter of student success in District 9.
She moved to Miami from Bogota, Colombia when she was eight and thanks to MDCPS, was speaking fluent English by nine. During her junior year at Coral Reef Sr. High, Luisa discovered she was undocumented. She persisted — starting her higher education at Miami Dade College and eventually becoming a proud U.S. citizen.
Luisa worked in President Obama’s U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC while completing her studies in Political Economy and Education at Georgetown University. She knows teachers and school staff can change lives — she saw it first hand teaching 4th graders and leading a mentoring and advocacy literacy program for historically underserved 3rd graders. Luisa eventually came home to Miami to launch her own business, Lulu’s Ice Cream, through which she has reimagined what students can learn in the workplace.
Luisa’s career narrative as a change-agent, thought-leader, mentor, and education advocate was built on what MDCPS taught her. As our school board member, Luisa fights to empower the next generation.