Rosario Quiroz Villarreal was a policy entrepreneur at Next100 and is director of policy and advocacy at The New Teacher Project. At Next100, Rosario focuses on increasing educational equity for immigrant students and students of color, including by removing the systemic barriers their families face when seeking opportunity. Growing up as an undocumented immigrant, Rosario understood that the sacrifices her parents made in moving to a new country were centered around securing better opportunities for the future, and that education could provide a pathway toward a choice-filled life. However, as she got older, she recognized that, while education was certainly filled with opportunities, particular populations were constantly excluded.
Rosario has written numerous articles centering and celebrating the lived experience of immigrants and advocating for policy solutions to challenges, including, for example, undocumented people going ignored by early pandemic relief efforts (traducido al Español aquí). She has worked to elevate the experiences and ideas of immigrant families, an effort which culminated most recently in a report with Haitian Bridge Alliance and ImmSchools, Our Voices, Our Policy. The report is a product of direct collaboration with immigrant families, and develops a vision for supportive and inclusive state-level policies. To complement this vision, Rosario conducted a 50-state analysis of existing state policies. Among other projects, she has worked with a diverse coalition of immigration and education advocates to draft a toolkit for K–12 educators that prepared them to support their students, families, and colleagues when the DACA decision came down from the Supreme Court.
Rosario has worked on social justice issues and with youth throughout her career. She spent five years as a bilingual educator, teaching in public and charter school settings in Texas and New York. She was recognized as a Champion of Change by the Obama administration for her work with immigrant English learner students. Rosario also worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County, North Carolina, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in NYC, and Momentum Alliance in Portland, Oregon.
Rosario has a BA in sociology with a special concentration in sustainable development from Columbia University. She is completing her MA in international educational development from the Teachers College at Columbia University. She is originally from Lerdo, Durango, Mexico and grew up in western North Carolina.
As mixed-status and undocumented families wait for new pathways to permanent residence at the federal level, ensuring more inclusive policy at the state level will allow them to survive and even thrive until that moment arrives. States have an important role to play, and their responses must be guided by the voices of those most impacted.Read more >