Advocacy Leadership (ALI) Program

About The Program

The Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI) is a year-long fellowship for educators from public charter schools. ALI gives teachers from across the state the opportunity to connect with policy and advocacy experts and elected officials in order to strengthen their individual leadership skills and to learn how to become effective advocates for students and families.

ALI fellows receive monthly training that prepares them to elevate their voices and make a lasting impact. They write op-eds, testify at legislative hearings, and share their stories directly with lawmakers. The fellowship also brings together a community of teacher advocates who support each other’s work and share strategies as they fight on behalf of great public schools for all Texas children.


2021-2022 Central Texas ALI Fellows

Alana Strong

Wayside- REAL Learning Academy (Austin)

“It is important to advocate for charter schools because there are many myths being spread about them by several organizations. Texans need to be educated on the truth about charter schools and how they benefit Texas families.”

Hannah Burkhauser

KIPP Paseo Primary (Austin)

“Advocating for charter schools has always been important but it’s especially important now, in the wake and continuation of COVID-19. After two years of loss of time in classrooms and loss of connection with students & families, charters schools which seek to bridge those gaps are incredibly important.

Isaiah Johnson

Austin Achieve High School (Austin)

“I answered the call to teach at a charter school as a response to the systemic and bureaucratic inequalities I battled as a learner in the California public school system. I’m a pathfinder for the promotion of representation and ancestral connection for all learners.”

Jennifer Duvall

NYOS Charter School (Austin)

“I believe that charter schools should advocated for now more than ever due to the amount of misinformation that is spreading about charter schools. A lot of people are simply misinformed and I find that once they are educated on what makes charter schools so great- and that we are functioning as public schools- I’ve noticed that support for charters increases.

Tanya Martinez

KIPP Middle School (Austin)

“We can’t have cookie-cutter schools for our students, we need to be able to give them the best fit for THEM. Charter schools are a fair and equitable place for many of our students that are not a traditional public school.

Scott Cargile

Gateway College Preparatory (Georgetown)

“It is important now more than ever to advocate for charter schools because ISDs continue to consistently underperform. Charter schools offer families a choice in their education and their future that is otherwise unavailable when students are forced to attend their local ISDs.”

2021-2022 South-East Texas ALI Fellows

Chevorneise Mcleod

International Leadership of Texas-Orem Campus (Houston)

“The reason why I choose to advocate is to inspire teachers and to inspire students that they are capable of doing anything they put their mind to. A lot of times we’ve grown up in different areas with different knowledge, and I want to be their voice.”

Clement Agho-Otoghile

School of Science & Technology- Advancement (Houston)

“I advocate for charter schools because here are a number of organizations that are advocating against charter schools. Charter schools, in Texas, need advocates to not only dispel the misinformation, but also cement a bridge in education and learning for all stakeholders who are involved in K-12 education around the entire state.

Christopher Wolman

Harmony School of Excellence (Houston)

“Advocating for charter schools has never been more important. The students here get a STEM based education. They get to create things, they get to code, and they get to 3D print all here on this campus. At the end of the day I see that I am a voice for my students to lawmakers and policy stakeholders.” 

Danielle Brooks

YES Prep Southeast Elementary (Houston)

“It’s important to advocate for Texas public charter schools in order to serve our students and families and educate stakeholders on the TRUTHS of charters. Our voices matter and our WHY needs to be heard!”

Kandace Reese

Mainland Preparatory Classical Academy (LaMarque)

“I advocate for charters because with the educational gap from the pandemic, scholars need smaller classes and teachers who will love them and give them the push they need to overcome all adversities.”

Martha Parsons

Mainland Preparatory Classical Academy (LaMarque)

“Texas charter schools are one of the best ways education can be facilitated to the students.”

Tamural Frierson

Fallbrook Academy (Houston)

“Our children’s educational success matters, and it’s important that every child, especially children who identify as special populations, has an advocate to support their learning style. I look forward to becoming more involved and engaged in this community.

Dr. Christi Hicks

Aristoi Classical Academy (Katy)

“I advocate for charter schools because our kids deserve it. All kids learn differently and as a whole educators as well as others understand that but they do not realize that the school they attend can make a difference as well.

Joseph Lockett

Aristoi Classical Academy (Katy)

“Charter schools have a lot of opponents and at the same time they are poised to offer a lot of opportunities. We need to combat myths and misconceptions, and foster cooperation and community.

Carla Finnell

Beaumont Classical Academy (Beaumont)

“It is so important to advocate for charters to eliminate misconceptions of what charter schools are and what our purpose is, which is to educate our children towards academic success.

2021-2022 San Antonio ALI Fellows

Patricia A. Rodriguez

Harmony Science Academy (San Antonio)

“It’s important because we need to do what is best for our students. There are so many misconceptions out there about whom we serve. Once those misconceptions are addressed and corrected, people will understand the value that we bring.

Danielle Navarro

Lighthouse Public School

It’s important to advocate for charters right now because our students have never had a learning gap as wide as they do right now because of the past year and a half. It’s important to advocate for new and innovative ways for students to learn and grow.”

Valerie A. Cadena

Compass Rose Ingenuity

“It’s important because charters are not funded like traditional schools. We know that the traditional schools are not the best option for every student, so if charters schools start to close we would be doing a disservice to students who are not successful in traditional public schools.

2021-2022 Dallas/Ft. Worth ALI Fellows

Porcha Maten

Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy (Plano)

“It is important to advocate for charter schools right now is because they are being threatened. All students and parents need a voice and a choice. Charter schools give an option to those who don’t have one.

Misty Booker

A+ Academy Secondary (Dallas)

Right now, it’s important that we advocate for charter schools because they give a high quality education to students in low income neighborhoods that wouldn’t otherwise get that. Charter schools give them structure and a sense of belonging, but more than anything, a sense of pride.

Alissa Russell

LIFE Middle and Oak Cliff High Schools (Dallas)

“Without charter schools, parents would be stuck with only their traditional ISD as an option. Students need to have educators that are dedicated. They need to have the right tools to not only bring students back to grade- level, but get them above level so they can apply their knowledge in the future.”

Loralei Hoggard

LIFE School- Red Oak (Dallas)

“It’s important to advocate to charters because I think it is important that people realize the power of choice. When they have that choice, I think they are more vested. This goes for teachers, students and parents.”

Emana Usanga

Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy (Mesquite)

“I advocate for charters because we have the opportunity to be a voice to the voiceless. We must be a beckon of hope to the helpless.

Richard Thomas

Richard Milburn Academy (Ft. Worth)

“I believe the main reason why it’s important to advocate for the students I work for is because we’re in one of the most critical moments in our history. We’re going through a global pandemic and fights for racial and social justice. The students I work with on a daily basis have an adversarial relationship with the education system. I want to think through ways to not only transform the system, but build alongside administrators, lawmakers, and all stakeholders to make education both accessible, fun, and generally good and safe for our students.

2021-2022 West Texas ALI Fellows

Ryan Otero

Idea Rio Vista College Preparatory (El Paso)

“It’s important to advocate for charters right now so we can continue the work of challenging the status quo and moving the institution of education forward. It’s also important to allow students and families to have a choice and charters help to fill the gap by providing educational opportunities of success regardless of their zip code.”

2021-2022 South Texas ALI Fellows

Lourdes Jimenez

IDEA San Benito Academy (Harlingen)

“I advocate for charter schools because scholars who attend charter schools should get the same funding as scholars who attend traditional public schools. Parents should have the right to choose which schools they would like for their children to obtain their education at no cost to the parent.

512-584-8272 | 3005 S Lamar Blvd, Suite D-447, Austin, TX, 78704