Dr. Amelia Herrera-Evans
Teacher/Treasurer, Language Institute, Modesto City Schools/United Black Student Unions of California
Through a vast array of life experiences, including being the mother to three daughters, Dr. Amelia Herrera-Evans has become a highly empathetic and understanding person. Using empathy at her base, she finds that the best way to be able to see the world in someone else’s view and understand their position in life is to listen to them and learn from them. By trade, Dr. Herrera-Evans is currently a high school English language development teacher within the Language Institute at Grace Davis High School in Modesto, California. She is passionate about her work with immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking students, as she is not just their teacher of English, but their advocate, and their biggest cheerleader. This year marks her 12th year doing this work. Leading up to her teaching career, Dr. Herrera-Evans obtained her bachelor’s degrees in both English and Chicano Latino studies from CSU, Fresno in 2005 and her teaching credential from San Francisco State in 2007. After a few years of teaching under her belt, she decided to get her master’s degree in education and her Pupil Personnel Services Credential from CSU, Stanislaus. Knowing that education should remain being looked at through a critical lens and stay evolving, Dr. Herrera-Evans went back to school in 2015 to earn her EdD in educational leadership and equity from CSU, Stanislaus to ensure that this very thing happens. This past year, she and fellow researchers conducted a community equity audit, focusing on the indicators of childhood health and wellness and how much impact access to resources such as health care, fresh food, transportation, etc. has on a students’ academic success. Using Geographical Information Systems to measure the distance between children of student ages in two distinct neighborhoods and the resources necessary to obtain optimum childhood health and wellness, they were able to describe the inequitable disbursement of resources in the community of Modesto and argue for an improved partnership between municipalities and school districts. Currently the dissertation is being turned into a book and is set to be released in September of 2019. Dr. Herrera-Evans is also the state treasurer for the United Black Student Unions of California (UBSUC), where she is working with the board president and fellow members to develop curriculum surrounding African and African American history with the end goal of it being implemented as core BSU club curriculum across California. She takes pride in helping to advance and empower all youth but is especially concerned with ensuring youth of color feel a great sense of empowerment. Dr. Herrera-Evans hopes that her work and experiences allows her the opportunity to become a leader in a local educational organization so that she can implement the changes that will provide a more equitable and quality education for each and every student in her schools.