At Green Dot Public Schools, we’ve built a culture that seeks to recognize and celebrate the rich histories and vital contributions of all people and cultures. This month we’re joining our leaders, educators, and friends in honoring Women’s History Month throughout March—and International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8.

Across our schools in both Los Angeles and Memphis, we are building more pathways to encourage all students to explore, learn, and build upon our joint history. In celebration of commemorative days and months, our educators and school leaders build spaces and learning materials to reflect on the heroes who have impacted our lives, while finding new ways to enrich the cultural wealth of all of our students.

This week, we’re honoring Women’s History Month by spotlighting stories that demonstrate the impact that women have made across our network, in our communities, and society at large.

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Empowerment through Reading

Trailblazing English teacher Krystle Braxton demonstrates both innovation and passion in her classroom. And it has created something truly special at Ánimo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School. “I strive to show students that reading can take you anywhere,” shared Braxton

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A Jab at Success

Jessica Hubbard, assistant principal for Fairley High School, built a program that provides students with a safe after school environment that fosters and promotes physical, mental, and emotional health through the use of boxing and kickboxing. She also holds the same level of academic accountability for the boxing club as other athletic teams at the school.

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Ellen Ochoa, an Inspiration for All

One of our top-performing middle schools is named after space pioneer Ellen Ochoa, who continues to fuel the dreams of students across the world. In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Latinx woman to travel into space, aboard NASA’s Discovery Space Shuttle. As a mission specialist, she completed four separate shuttle missions, spending more than 900 hours in space.

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Encouraging the Next Generation

A namesake, hero, and a source of inspiration, Mae Jemison’s lessons embolden us all to reach for the physical and metaphorical stars. Learn How Jemison Encourages Students.

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Giving Back to South LA

Green Dot Alumna Daisy Estevez attended Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School as a founding student, and later became a teacher at Ánimo Mae Jemison Charter High School. Estevez noted how she was the only latina in many of her college classes, but made a commitment to serve students of color in her community.

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Ascending to Leadership

Green Dot Alumna Diamond Jones reminds us that we can all do something to make this world a better place. This past summer, Jones led a large clean up in South Los Angeles.

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Building Support Pathways

This summer, Melissa Peña, Green Dot’s Community School Manager, participated in the Homelessness Policy Research Virtual Research Symposium on K-12 Student Homelessness.

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The Power of Yet

Carmen Leiva, a math teacher at Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy, loves watching students in her classroom experience “light bulb moments” of realization.

Animo Watts Alumna

Commitment to Public Service

Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy alumna, Breanna Maldonado, has never been afraid of hard work. From taking advanced classes and dual enrollment college courses, holding a part-time job, and volunteering in her community, Maldonado has demonstrated that you can achieve anything with determination and drive.

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Turning Goals into Reality

Jocelyn Maceda Orduna, a Class of 2020 graduate of Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School (APB), will never forget the day she learned that she’d be spending the next four years of her life at Stanford University.

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The Making of a Great Teacher

Growing up in a small provincial town in the Philippines, Marinela Cortez never imagined that an interest in the periodic table would lead to a degree in chemistry and a teaching career that has spanned 36 years.