After nearly 20 years, Leslie Valmonte feels blessed to continue her passion for building bridges between students, families, schools, employers, and communities. She leverages her strong background in school and community transformation approaches, such as Linked Learning; strategic planning; capacity building; evaluation; policy and coalition building to improve access to high quality education for all. Most recently, she works as an independent consultant for a variety of nonprofit, for profit, community-based and philanthropic organizations focused on reforming education; workforce development; and housing and homeless services. She received her BA in Political Science from UC Irvine and her Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Regional Development and Education from UCLA. Her most recent “proud mommy moment” was when her 10-year-old son organized a school “rebellion” to protest “unfair” playground rules. He mobilized his classmates to vote for the two students who agreed to help change the rules if they were elected into the School Senate. After high-fiving him for his spirit of civic engagement, she quickly followed up their conversation with a discussion on the importance of playground safety.