Maria Ramirez 

María Ramírez taught for 31 years in Colorado. She is an award-winning educator, teacher, poet, and activist. She has been named Colorado Bilingual Teacher of the Year, the National Bilingual Teacher of the Year and Boulder County’s Multicultural Educator of the year. María has been an assistant principal, district coordinator and has taught English Language Development. She worked to provide students with the tools, skills, and encouragement they needed so they could be proud of their cultural heritage and could be successful. María created monthly parent meetings as a way for parents to be heard and advocate on behalf of their students. These parent meetings built bridges to other parent organizations and strengthened relationships among families at the schools she taught. María has co-founded Club Mestizo, an afterschool program that met once a week and offered classes for students with Su Teatro, a professional theater group in Denver. María also founded the poetry club at her middle school, which helped students gain language skills and learn how to express themselves. María uses her own voice to help overcome barriers and inequities and helps students to find their own voice on the way to a better future.

Her migrant roots and lessons learned in the fields have sustained her from the fields to the White House. Besides being invited to the White House María has been interviewed by CNN; her story has been published in The Associated Press, Time Magazine, Latina Magazine, USA Today, Channel 9 News of Denver, and various other local newspapers. She was a guest in El Show de Cristina, Univsión, television shows and radio programs. María has presented at elementary, middle schools, high schools and at libraries and universities in the U.S. and other countries. Her ability to capture the attention of youngest to the oldest as a storyteller and motivational speaker comes naturally.