María Ramírez, 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 in order to be successful. Maria created monthly parent meetings as a way for parents to be heard and have the ability to advocate on behalf of their children. These parent meetings built bridges to other parent organizations and strengthened relationships among families at the schools she taught. Maria 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. Maria also founded the Poetry Club at her middle school, which helped students gain language skills and learn how to express themselves. Maria uses her own voice to help overcome barriers and inequities and helped students 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 Maria has been interviewed by CNN; her story has been published by the Associated Press, Time Magazine, Latina Magazine, and USA Today. She was a guest in El Show de Cristina, Univsión, Channel 9 News of Denver, and various other local and national newspapers, television shows and radio programs. María has presented at elementary, middle, and high schools, libraries and universities in the U.S. and other countries. Her ability to capture the attention of the youngest to the oldest as a storyteller and motivational speaker comes naturally.