Gonzalez knew Green, the head of DLF, from when he had served as the assistant principal at Muchin. Green encouraged her to apply. Gonzalez was nervous but excited when she applied. She had been taking on several leadership roles at her campus—like serving as a grade-level lead and head coach for the cross country and track team—but she still wasn’t entirely confident in herself as a leader. Gonzalez felt that DLF would be an excellent opportunity to develop her leadership skills. When she got her acceptance email, she was proud.
From the very first session, Gonzalez said she appreciated the intentional space to connect with other leaders of color.
“I’ll never forget the first session. We met Claudia Rodriguez, who was very inspiring. Hearing her story and how I can connect with her was like—wow!—she’s doing amazing things,” Gonzalez said about Noble’s chief of public affairs.
Gonzalez also spoke highly of her experience with her mentor, Brenda Cora, Chief Schools Officer at Noble Schools.
“Meeting my mentor has been a life-changing experience… it was amazing because I never really had a mentor who I could check in with consistently,” Gonzalez said, “I want to be like her one day. She’s a great role model for me.”
Ultimately, DLF was the final push Gonzalez needed to step into a bigger leadership role. Through the inspiring DLF sessions, networking opportunities, and mentorship chats, Gonzalez gained the confidence and connections to apply for the assistant dean of culture position at Pritzker College Prep.
“It made me come out of my comfort zone and take the risk to be in a new role,” Gonzalez said.
Cora said she was so proud to watch Gonzalez grow over the course of the program and get hired into the assistant dean position.
“She reached out to me for advice, and I coached her the best that I could to prepare her—but she definitely was already ready. It was just nice to know that she trusted me enough to engage me in the process,” Cora said, “Now, she’s a school leader, which is what she aspired to do. I’m really proud of her, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”