Today, Stephanie Yassine serves as executive director at Sanga Consulting, the educational service provider for Escuela Avancemos. But her career with charter public schools actually began much earlier, when her family chose The Dearborn Academy for her to attend as a second grader.

“Prior to transferring to The Dearborn Academy, I was attending a suburban school district and struggling both academically and with my self-esteem. That district had, without cause, determined that I needed to be placed in an ELL track and had wrongly diagnosed me with dyslexia.” Yassine remembers. “Both my parents advocated for me and decided that a smaller school with an innovative educational program was exactly what I needed.”

Looking back, Yassine believes it was a life-changing decision.

“As I reflect, I realize that if my family did not have a school of choice option then I could have easily been one of those lost students, forgotten due to my lack of self-esteem and confidence in my academics,” Yassine said. “My experiences as a bi-cultural, bi-racial learner in the educational system ignited my passion for educational equity for all students.”

In her graduate studies, Yassine decided to focus on community organizing with a specialty in educational studies. Ultimately, she advanced to her present position at Escuela Avacemos—a career choice that feels particularly right. After all, Escuela Avancemos’ mission is to prepare, educate, and inspire every child, every day to become lifelong learners and leaders in a 21st-century world.

“I am proud to work at a community school so invested in the academic and emotional success of every child,” Yassine said. “Escuela Avancemos, similar to The Dearborn Academy, is a school that I would have thrived in as a child and I am proud to lead and support a school that applies these values in everything we do.”