“I am inspired to work in education due to my experiences growing up in an immigrant household. While I began my education by learning English at CPS, my hard work and determination paid off with access to invaluable educational opportunities that led me to where I am today. Because education was the key to my better future, I believe that all students, given the right set of academic, behavioral, and mental health supports, can succeed in school. These beliefs have driven my long-standing commitment to improving public education in my hometown of Chicago. After advocating on behalf of students with emotional disabilities as a special education attorney, I now work to create trauma-sensitive school environments at CPS. It is at this critical career juncture, having shifted from creating student-level change to school-level change, that I need the help of Surge to further develop into a district-wide education leader.”

Aimee Rodriguez is a Project Manager at Chicago Public Schools.