Michelle Sánchez currently serves her Los Angeles Unified School District students and families as a GEAR UP 4 LA Site Coordinator. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, (GEAR UP) is a federally-competitive program that provides college access services to students beginning in sixth and seventh grades and following them through their first year of college. For over 1,000 students and families in South Central Los Angeles, Michelle leads and manages her teams to establish a culture of care and individualizing support to ensure students are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
Michelle is a social justice educational leader whose strength is taking policy and theory into action. She began her teaching career as a full-inclusion teacher in Boston Public Schools upon receiving a Master of Education from Boston College as a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar. She returned to her home in Los Angeles, and taught special education, Latin American History, World History and Advanced Placement U.S. History. To strengthen her efforts of disrupting the education inequities our students and families face, in her sixth year of teaching, she earned a Master of Education in Principal Leadership from UCLA's Principal Leadership Institute. Seven years in the classroom and an active participant in her schools solidified her vision and leadership for serving her community to improve public education for all students. Michelle believes that high-quality education should not be exclusive or limited to a student's zip code.
Michelle was born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles, attended LAUSD public schools for K-12. She is the proud daughter of Costa Rican, Mexican immigrant parents, and first-generation college graduate. As a POSSE Foundation Scholar, she attended Dickinson College and received a dual bachelor's degree in American Studies and Spanish. Being selected a POSSE Scholar was the catalyst that gave Michelle access to her post-secondary and career opportunities. She aims to continue using her experiences and journey to making education in public schools more equitable, humane and inspiring spaces our kids deserve.
Michelle currently lives in Downtown Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys running, CrossFit, playing soccer and painting.