Rosario Quiroz Villarreal is an advocate for immigration and education who is committed to increasing educational equity for immigrant students and students of color. 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. At Next100, her work focuses on protecting the rights and access to education of immigrant students, creating more culturally inclusive classrooms and curricula, and promoting effective restorative justice practices to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.
Rosario has worked on social justice issues and with youth throughout her career. She has spent the past 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. Most recently, Rosario taught at KIPP Infinity Elementary School, where she helped facilitate social justice book club meetings and implemented restorative justice practices in the classroom. Previously, Rosario worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County, North Carolina as program staff; the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in NYC as their community mobilization fellow; and Momentum Alliance in Portland, Oregon as a grant writer and youth coach.
Rosario has a BA in sociology with a special concentration in sustainable development from Columbia University. She is currently pursuing 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. She lives in Inwood with her husband, with whom she loves traveling, cooking, and exploring nature.