Yolie Flores is a passionate and tireless advocate for children and families. Throughout her personal and professional life, Yolie has committed herself to helping ensure that all kids – but most especially poor children – grow up with opportunities to lead rich and fulfilling lives.
Born in El Paso and raised in Huntington Park, Yolie attended some of the same schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that she now represents as a member of the LAUSD Board of Education. Upon graduation from Huntington Park High School, she went on to become the first person in her family to attend college, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands and then a Master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Yolie began her career as a social worker at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where she created and led DWP Family Care, a nationally recognized employer-supported child care and family support program. She later became the director of child care planning and policy for the City of Los Angeles. After serving as a policy consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Yolie served as CEO of the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council (CPC), the largest children’s partnership network in the United States. For almost a decade, Yolie led an ambitious change agenda that focused on strengthening families and improving outcomes for children through large-scale systems reform, community engagement, data-driven planning, and policy development.
Today, Yolie is a member of the LAUSD Board of Education, the second largest school district in the nation. Elected in 2007, Yolie represents 115,000 students and 116 schools across a district that is reflective of her own experience as an English learner and low-income student of immigrant parents. It is through this perspective and her deep concern that for too long, too many children of similar background have been denied a quality education that she has championed some of the most significant reforms at LAUSD.
In the past three years, Yolie has led the fight to reform LAUSD and challenge the culture of failure for poor children and children of color. Yolie authored the Public School Choice resolution, creating a sense of urgency for change, challenging the status quo, and demanding quality educational plans for new schools and low-performing schools. She also authored the Teacher Effectiveness resolution, again challenging the status quo on issues of evaluation, seniority, tenure, and pay. Other key efforts included her Small Schools and World Languages resolutions. Yolie’s most current work on parent engagement reform calls for parents to be equal partners in their children’s education.
Yolie has twice been named Social Worker of the Year and has received numerous other recognitions for her work on behalf of children and families. She was an inaugural member of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship program; was a Coro City Focus Fellow, and a member of the MALDEF Leadership program.
Taking her work on an international level, Yolie was a member of the Latino delegation to China; a fellow in the US/South Africa Emerging Leaders Program; and a member of the L.A. delegation to Tel Aviv with a focus on child welfare issues.
Yolie lives in Highland Park and spends most of her leisure time with her favorite people: her family. As much as possible, she travels the world and seeks out ways to connect with children and people that dedicate their lives to their success.