Why I Became a Parent Leader

To tell you why I became a parent leader, first I need to explain why I had no other option. I came to the United States in 1990 when I was six years old. I came here with my mother and two younger brothers. We came here to reunite with my dad, who migrated before us. Since my mother did not speak English and she didn’t initially understand the system, my siblings and I lost an entire year of school. My mother with her limited education and English language skills helped as much as she could and fought for our education as much as she was able to. But in the end, the public educational system failed all six of her children. 

When it was time for my eldest child to attend school, I decided that the Franklin McKinley School District in San Jose was not where I wanted to send my two boys to school. We moved to Santa Clara to find a school for kindergarten in hopes of obtaining a good education for my children. 

At the time, I knew my oldest had a learning disability, but in order to receive services, we had to go through many loops and challenges that delayed him receiving adequate support for two years. By the 2nd grade, he was diagnosed with a special learning disability with retention, processing, and comprehension, and services were extremely limited.

When my oldest was in 3rd grade, the traditional school he attended, Scott Lane Elementary, decided it could no longer provide the 20 minute pull out services for him and that he had 10 days to transfer to a day class (special needs class). I was devastated and tired of fighting for a good education for my child. All my efforts in the past years were crushed. But I knew I wanted a better future for him, and I decided that I needed to keep fighting for a decent education for all of my children. 

I quit my job to dedicate all my time to find my kids a quality school. In this process, I found Rocketship. I had my doubts because of all the negative things I had heard about them from traditional public schools. But my kids fell in love with the school immediately! The following week I enrolled them in Rocketship Discovery Prep. Driving them everyday 30 minutes to attend school was so worth it. When I heard my child for the first time read and speak a full sentence without hesitation, I cried like I never cried before. I cried because I was proud of him, and his hard work. I cried because I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

When I was asked to join the newly forming parent leaders at Rocketship, I had my doubts, but after seeing the need to advocate for our school, I was sold. In the past six years, I have fought next to a group of strong and admirable women for better education for our children and to fight for our right to school choice. I believe in the right to select a school that serves our children’s needs, a place were we can all grow as a family. 

When I am asked why I am a parent leader, I reply, “I am a parent leader because I love my children, and I would move the world to give them the best possibilities for their future.”

Alondra Medina 

Parent leader 


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Alondra Medina

Alondra Medina

Alondra Alvarez is the mother of three boys and stepmother of two girls. She came to the United States in January 1990 when she was six years old with her mother and two younger brothers to live with their father. She attended San Jose Unified School District, and graduated from Andrew Hill High School from East Side Union School District in 2001. In 2000, Alondra met Deanna Brown, a teacher teaching self-motivation techniques, at Andrew Hill for night school credits. Deanna changed her way of seeing life and her future, giving Alondra hope for a better future. Alondra graduated doubling her GPA in one year and surpassing school credits thanks to Deanna’s motivation and guidance. Alondra attended Evergreen Community College for two years studying political science. At the age of 18, Alondra became the owner of her own business, selling it in 2005 to start her family. In 2013, Alondra joined a parent leader group in San Jose, and today she is active in her community and in her children’s education.
Alondra Medina

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