Senior Director, Partnership Development

Dolores Caamano

Dolores knows what it feels like to be overlooked…to be judged…to be turned down.

As a poor student of color, she never fit the mold of a traditional honors student in high school. She wanted to go to college, but she had no idea how to get there. No one in her family had ever navigated this path.

College was a dream…a dream with no clear pathway. That was until one special teacher showed her the way – high expectations paired with college-prep classes. The path was bumpy at times, smooth at times, and confusing at times, but it led to a road less traveled by Dolores and her family – a full-ride scholarship to any college of her choice.

10 years later, she went from blindly navigating the school system to creating a path all her own…a path that led her to earn a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, a Master’s of Education from Columbia College, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Missouri.

Dolores is now a proud advocate for students, like her, who do not fit the traditional mold of an honors student … students who, due to their socioeconomic status or the color of their skin, are overlooked, judged, and turned down.

As a high school teacher for seven years, she paired her love of teaching with culturally responsive techniques with AVID strategies to create a fun, safe, and productive learning environment for all of her students. Her passion and true desire to help students did not go unnoticed. She won Teacher of the Year after her first year of teaching and continued to be a leader in and outside of her classroom as a member of her school’s Leadership Council, Student Support Team, and Equity Team…positions that first introduced her to Equal Opportunity Schools. From then on, she was hooked.

Because of her teaching and personal backgrounds, Dolores understands the barriers that low-income, students of color have to face on a daily basis. After all, she was in their shoes 10 years ago. She understands the gems that lay beneath the struggle. She understands the power of trusted adults and high expectations. She understands the need for Equal Opportunity Schools. This is why Dolores does this work.

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