Mar 16, 2016
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A Richmond mother of three is credited with helping launch two middle schools, vigorously advocating for inclusion of charter schools in the Richmond Promise scholarship program, and taking just two weeks to corral 220 people for a protest against legislation impacting charters.

Now Tomasa Espinoza’s monumental accomplishments have everyone asking, What can’t she do?

Espinoza was just honored by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) with the 2016 Hart Vision Award for Charter School Volunteer of the Year.

As part of this honor, the CCSA produced this video about Espinoza’s accomplishments advocating for charter school students in Richmond. While she is credited as an active parent who saw her three children benefit from a charter school education, she’s gone far out of her way to advocate for children at other schools.

“Tomasa wanted to assure her fellow community members and parents had the same access to school choice that her family received,” the CCSA said.

Here’s more on Tomasa’s story, as provided by CCSA:

Tomasa Espinoza is a parent and active supporter of the charter school movement at Richmond College Prep Schools in Richmond, CA. She has seen all three of her children benefit from a charter school education. She wanted to assure her fellow community members and parents had the same access to school choice that her family received. She joined First Five of Contra Costa County and founded the West County Regional Group to help bring more information and leadership to the parents in her city. Through this group, Espinoza organized the opening of two additional charter schools: Caliber Beta Academy and Summit K2. She attended school board meetings and spoke at hearings for both schools, even though her kids already attended a charter school. As a result of her efforts, Espinoza helped open what will be 1,620 new high-quality charter school seats in Richmond. She not only helped expand school choice options in Richmond, but she helped ensure that all public school students in Richmond would be eligible to receive funds through the Richmond Promise program.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.