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Karla Gonzalez

7615

Bold Points

43x

Nominee

3x

Finalist

2x

Winner

Bio

Hello! I’m a doctoral student passionate about educational equity. As a first-generation college graduate who grew up in a low-income family and former public school teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how education can change lives. Today, I raise millions of dollars for Khan Academy, an education technology nonprofit that provides a free, world-class education to tens of millions of students every month, volunteer coach low-income students through the college application process, and lead a giving circle that invests thousands of dollars a year in underfunded Latinx led nonprofits educating youth. I also advocate for the needs of low-income students of color in any space I occupy. At work, this advocacy has translated into an organizational wide shift in focus to better serve historically under-resourced students. In the past, I’ve held several non-profit board positions at organizations working to empower marginalized communities like the one I grew up in. While my experience to date has highlighted that a title is not a prerequisite to enacting change, I’m ready to take the next step in my educational journey to accelerate my impact. Your support today will empower me to complete my doctorate in educational leadership at UCLA. This is a unique opportunity to hone the leadership skills that will ensure I have a seat in spaces where I can drive outcomes at scale for students of color and where voices like mine— those of a low-income, first-generation college going, woman of color—are too often missing. Thank you for your consideration!

Education

University of California-Los Angeles

Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Education, General

Johns Hopkins University

Master's degree program
2014 - 2016
  • Majors:
    • Education, General

Stanford University

Bachelor's degree program
2010 - 2014
  • Majors:
    • History

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Educational Leadership and Administration, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Non-Profit Organization Management

    • Dream career goals:

      CEO

    • District Partnerships Manager

      Khan Academy
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Director of Campus Relations

      UCLA Graduate Student Association
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Individual Giving Manager

      Khan Academy
      2018 – 20224 years
    • Director of Client Relations and Senior Consultant

      Cortex College Consulting
      2017 – 20203 years
    • Academic Initiatives Coordinator

      The SMART Program (Schools, Mentoring, and Resource Team)
      2017 – 20181 year
    • Strategic Planning Associate

      The SMART Program (Schools, Mentoring, and Resource Team)
      2016 – 20171 year
    • Trip Director (Summer)

      Travel for Teens
      2016 – 2016
    • Senior Counselor (Summer)

      Travel for Teens
      2015 – 2015
    • Teach for America Corps Member and High School Teacher

      Baltimore City Public Schools
      2014 – 20162 years
    • Asia Field Intern (Summer)

      The Solidarity Center
      2013 – 2013
    • Research Assistant

      Stanford University
      2012 – 20142 years
    • Asia Field Intern (Summer)

      The Solidarity Center
      2012 – 2012
    • Office Assistant, Undergraduate Advising and Research

      Stanford University
      2010 – 20111 year
    • Young Ambassador, Smithsonian Latino Center

      The Smithsonian Institution
      2010 – 2010
    • Math Tutor

      Long Beach Unified School District
      2008 – 20102 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    2006 – 2006

    Surfing

    2008 – 20102 years

    Awards

    • Student Athlete of the Year

    Research

    • Law

      Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality — Research Assistant
      2013 – 2014
    • American History (United States)

      Stanford University Spatial History Project — Research Assistant
      2012 – 2013

    Arts

    • Mambonova Dance

      Dance
      2017 – 2019
    • Guitar course

      Music
      2010 – 2010

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      UCLA Campus Programs Committee — Graduate Student Representative
      2021 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Khan Academy — Lead, Black and Latinx Affinity Group
      2019 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Latino Community Foundation — Giving Circle Leadership Council
      2018 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Nuestra Casa of East Palo Alto — Board Member and Fundraising Committee Chair
      2018 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      ScholarMatch — Varsity College Coach
      2018 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Stanford University — Alumni Mentor to first generation low-income students
      2018 – 2020
    • Public Service (Politics)

      New Leaders Council — Fellow
      2019 – 2019
    • Advocacy

      Teach For America — Rising Leaders Fellow
      2018 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley — Senior Fellow, Latino Board Leadership Academy
      2018 – 2018
    • Volunteering

      The Smithsonian Latino Center — Fundraising Committee Lead and Advisory Group Member
      2018 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto — Translator
      2017 – 2018

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Future Female Educators Scholarship
    Winner
    As a first-generation, low-income Latina, inequitable circumstances were a reality growing up. At fourteen, I learned to balance school while working twenty hours a week. At seventeen, I navigated college applications without the generational know-how afforded to the children of college graduates. Soon after, I arrived at Stanford, where I committed myself to opening doors for students from backgrounds like mine. Growing up I faced a lot of challenges, but future students might not have to if changes were made to our existing systems. After graduation, a desire to help others access educational opportunities led me to teach in Baltimore. Growing up I learned that hard work, even if that meant working twice as hard, translated into opportunity and success. In Baltimore, I learned that sometimes inequity is so vast that a student’s hard work alone is not enough. My students deserved better, so I organized college tours, offered free SAT prep and college counseling after school, and tried to fill in the gaps my students faced. As I removed barriers for my students, I wondered how all students, not just those in my classroom, could be supported at scale. When I left the classroom, I committed to making every space I touch more equitable. Today, I determine what to spend my time on based on its potential to build an equitable world. I have raised millions of dollars for Khan Academy, an online platform that provides free, educational resources to millions of students every month, coached low-income students through the college application process, and led a giving circle that invests thousands of dollars a year in Latinx led nonprofits educating youth. I have also advocated for the needs of low-income students of color in spaces of privilege I can access. At Khan Academy, this advocacy translated into an organizational wide shift to better serve historically under-resourced students. At UCLA, as the Graduate Student Association's Director of Campus Relations, I spearheaded a project to interview dozens of graduate students, focusing on students from under-resourced backgrounds, to better understand how UCLA can create an environment where all students can thrive. Along the way, I learned a lot about education’s shortcomings, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds like mine, and how I can contribute. Since starting my Ed.D. in the Educational Leadership Program, I have a better understanding of how to address educational inequity. In the future, I hope to lead a team delivering world-class educational technology resources to students and serve on an elected school board where I can drive student outcomes at scale. An Ed.D. at UCLA is a unique opportunity to hone the research and leadership skills that will ensure I can contribute in educational spaces where voices like mine— those of a first-generation college going woman of color from a low-income background—are too often missing. Students from low-income backgrounds deserve as much opportunity as students from more affluent backgrounds, and I am committed to making that a reality.