Leiva is a fierce social innovator, a dedicated educator at heart, and serves as the Chief of Staff in our office.
As a first generation Nicaraguan-American and Miami native with big dreams for Educational Equity in the 305, Leiva has spent the first seven years of her career advocating for students as a teacher and leader in South Florida schools, with a particular focus on equity and social justice. She then went on to serve as the Senior Manager for Leadership Innovation at Radical Partners, a social impact accelerator in our region. As the head of all leadership development and main facilitator at RP, Leiva was responsible for the overall strategic planning and partnerships, program creation and design, and content curation for all of their Leadership programs.
In our office, Leiva leads the overall strategic planning and implementation of our key priorities across all aspects of our work. As a key advisor to School Board Member Santos, she uses all of her talents to oversee and develop policy, head office-wide operations, staff development, and financial management. She has a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University, claims Spanglish to be her first language, keeps us always laughing at the office, and is a natural born storyteller.
Alyssa is a passionate educator and civil rights advocate. Although a Miami native, Alyssa lived outside the state for 13 years as she pursued educational and professional opportunities. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Language and Literature from the University of Notre Dame, a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, and is dual-certified as an English and Social Studies teacher. She completed multiple international study programs, including a focus on international criminal law and terrorism in The Hague, Netherlands, as well as serving as an aide to the Chairperson for the United Nations Committee against Torture. As an educational leader, Alyssa sought to champion student voice and leadership as she worked with middle and high school students in New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Hialeah. During the last three years she spent in the classroom, she served as her school’s Law Academy Director and Leader in Me Director. In these roles, she spearheaded a voter registration drive, an interscholastic Soapbox Speech competition, and multiple Issue to Action initiatives.
Alyssa currently speaks four languages, but aspires to learn another five. In her personal time, Alyssa enjoys traveling, spending time with her tuxedo kitten ‘Milo,’ reading, organizing things, running, and hiking. No challenge is too big for Alyssa, as she even completed the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile hike across Spain.
As the Programs Coordinator, Alyssa is responsible for managing our Student Fellowship, which brings together 50-60 high school and college students who serve as the core of our office. Our fellows receive professional development training and small group meetings with community leaders as they provide key support on office projects. Our fellows keep us ‘in the know’ and help us push M-DCPS to be a leading school district.