Agents of Change
Agents of Change is "a local educational leadership and public service organization" founded by Miguel Coronado.
Agents of Change 8th Annual Leadership & Public Service Awards in 2020
Agents of Change 7th Annual Leadership & Public Service Awards
- I asked my wife and my youngest daughter to accompany me to this important event, since we didn’t know what this organization represents in the community. Agents of Change is a nonprofit organization focusing on recruitment, retention, graduation and helping students get on the road to a four year university. As a father, I am always looking for ways to mentor my younger daughter by participating in community events; yesterday was, without a doubt, a very good experience for her and for us as a family.
- We listened to our host, Gustavo Camacho, tell the story of his father’s coming to the United States, and how his perseverance and hard work allowed him to open the first Camacho Auto Sales. Nowadays, this car dealer has become one of the most important Auto Sales in the Antelope Valley, with more than one hundred employees serving the community. His message was very important to the younger generation because they could hear it from this humble man. He emphasized the importance of education and the importance to take advantage of the opportunities available in our State and in our country.
- The Keynote speaker, Erica Alfaro shared her extraordinary story; her life could be on a script for a block buster movie about beating the odds. When she started speaking, I noticed my daughter’s eyes lit up with emotion. I too became very emotional listening to her talking about how she accomplished the impossible and how she remains humble after all the accolades and recognitions she has received. Erica became an internet sensation when she asked a photographer to take photos of her with her parents in a strawberry field, wearing her cap and gown in preparation to receive her Master’s Degree, and posted the photos online. I highly encourage reading her story online to understand better how important her presence was for the student members of Agents of Change.
- Last night, Erica told her life story; that story has become a positive symbol for many young girls all over the world; they saw those photos, they learned her incredible journey, and they found in her a light of possibilities. For the young members of Agents of Change this speech, coming from heart, was yet another incentive to continue pursuing their dreams of higher education and, not only to be successful in life, but to help future generations do the same.
- As for my daughter, she has our support one hundred percent when her time to attend college comes, the same way her brother and sister had. In my heart, I know that last night’s event reinforced in her the value of education and community service, which makes her a good citizen and a valued member of the community; like the Coronado’s, the Camacho’s, the Enriquez’, the Ventura’s, the Vasquez’s and the Alfaro’s, all sons and daughters of immigrants paving the road for future generations of Agents of Change.
Organized Press Conference Teacher accused of racial slurs
Agents of Change organized a press conference in December 2019 claiming a teacher was racist.
- "Palmdale School District administrators placed a SAGE Magnet Academy eighth-grade teacher on administrative leave following allegations the teacher used racial slurs in class that targeted Latino and African-American students.
- "The District placed the educator on administrative leave for a second time Wednesday morning after students and parents addressed governing Board members at Tuesday night’s meeting.
- "“We don’t want her at any other school because we don’t think she’s ready to teach any type of students because of what she said to us,” eighth grader Yaretzy Martinez said Thursday afternoon at a press conference outside the school.
- "Yaretzy was sent to detention because she did not want to be in the teacher’s class because the teacher spoke disparagingly about Hispanics.
- "“I don’t think I was supposed to be in there because I didn’t want to go into someone’s class that was going to talk bad about my race,” Yaretzy said.
- "Eighth grader Miguel Gonzalez was in the teacher’s class, but his mother got him transferred into a different class. He said the teacher punished him when he complained about her.
- "“She would fail Hispanics,” Miguel said. “I did everything in the classroom. I did all of my work and she would just fail me for no reason.”
- "Eighth grader Jossylin Villegas has the teacher for history.
- “Since day one I’ve had to suck up her nasty words and comments and jokes about racism toward Mexican people,” Jossylin said. “She would always talk about how she loves torture and she wanted to bring back slavery. She thinks it’s OK for Donald Trump to build a wall and to put the Mexicans’ names under the dirt.”
- The youngster added the teacher had Trump memorabilia throughout her classroom.
- “Every day it would be the same thing,” Jossylin said. “She would make a joke either racist or nasty.”
- The student added the teacher also brought politics into class. She showed off an assignment where the teacher had her students underline details about the wall, immigration and Trump.
- “When we asked her what it was for, she didn’t tell us,” Jossylin said. “She just had us underline everything that she wanted us to underline. We couldn’t do anything because we’re just students. We couldn’t say much to her, so we had to go along with it.”
- The class was stressful.
- “Imagine being an hour in that class and just having to hear her talk about how we shouldn’t be here, about how we live off of White’s people’s money and we’re just stealing their jobs,” Jossylin said. “We have families to feed, too. We’ve got families and we need to work for them. We’re not stealing your jobs.”
- The District placed the educator on administrative leave on Oct. 28 following initial student complaints. The District had an independent investigator to review the student complaints in October. The teacher returned to class Dec. 13 with a substitute teacher in the same classroom.
- When the same teacher was in the classroom Monday, students voiced concerns.
- Ryan Beardsley, assistant superintendent of Human Resources for Palmdale School District, said there were new statements brought up at Tuesday’s meeting that were not previously reported.
- “In kind of cross-referencing some of those, the teacher was placed on admin leave the following morning to further investigate,” Beardsley said.
- District administrators followed up with parents on Wednesday to see if there was anything they wanted to share or if they wanted to file a formal complaint.
- Beardsley did not disclose the results of the initial investigation. The District hired a different law firm to investigate the new complaints.
- “This was concerning enough to immediately place her out when we read the initial reports,” Beardsley said. “Ultimately, if something like that is taking place, even though it’s uncomfortable and an unpleasant process, ultimately you’re glad it’s come to light and we can address it.”
- Miguel Coronado, founder and executive director of Agents of Change, a local educational leadership and public service organization, organized the press conference.
- “It is the school’s job to provide a safe environment for children to learn because at the end of the day they’re our future,” activist Alyssa De Los Santos said.
- De Los Santos added the children do not feel safe going to class with the teacher.
- “They’re being discriminated against; they’re being told that their parents aren’t working hard.” De Los Santos said. “At the end of the day, what we don’t want is we don’t want this teacher here.”
- De Los Santos also called for the District to remove the teacher from the District and to provide counseling for the students.