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 In Parent Partner Program
At the core of the work that Parent Partner Program does is developing and supporting Parent Leaders to be the ambassadors of our message of college going culture and parent engagement at the different schools in which we work. Every month, we will be profiling a different parent leader, giving them a chance to tell their story in their own words.
This month we are highlighting the work of Isabel Gutierrez, a parent leader at Fairmount Elementary who has been part of a team that has been successful in advocating for a number of substantive changes at the school to support English Language Learner students and families. These changes include a format for maximizing the benefit of parent-teacher conferences and additional after-school tutoring for all 3rd-5th grade English Language Learner students. This year, Isabel is also one of two Fairmount parents who will be delivering our Believing the College Dream workshops at this school.

Isabel GutierrezIt has always been important for me to participate in meetings at my children’s school to learn new things and find out how to best support them. We need to stay involved in our children’s education because in this country schools are different than what we are used to in our own countries. It is our responsibility to help our children to have access to the very best possible educational opportunities and I am so excited to see that my children are benefiting from these opportunities. It fills me with such pride to see my children learning new things and developing each one in their own individual way, and that in part, I have been helping by all the work that I am doing every day to support their education.

Right now, one of my main focuses is on making sure that my son, who is in 5th grade, will be able to be reclassified as English Fluent by the time he graduates from elementary school, so that he has the most number of educational opportunities available in middle school. I know that in order to do that I need to partner closely with my son’s teachers.

I met Maria Rocha and Gerber Marquez from the Mission Graduates Parent Partner Program 3 years ago during a presentation about college that they did at Everett Middle School, the school my older daughter attended at the time. Then they invited me, along with other parents from Fairmount, where my younger children go to school, to take part in the Summer Leadership Institute. That is where I really began to see all there was to learn and began to work as part of a team of other dedicated parents to make positive changes at my children’s school. I appreciate the opportunity to share learning and experiences with such a fabulous group of mothers. I look forward to continuing to get support from Mission Graduates to keep helping my own children and working with other parents.

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