Clarisse Marie Mendoza has spent the last five years working in urban education as a classroom instructor, a non-profit leader, and a central office administrator. After teaching English at Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, D.C., as a 2006 Teach for America corps member, she returned to her hometown of Chicago to serve as the executive director of Chicago Professionals for Youth, an organization committed to improving educational outcomes for K-12 students through one-on-one mentoring. At present, Clarisse is the Chief Operating Officer of Early Stages – the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Child Find initiative. In this role, Clarisse has been responsible for leading the program’s complete turnaround and ensuring that all 3-to-5-year-old children in D.C. have access to high quality early childhood diagnostic services, as well as a strong start to their schooling careers. Clarisse also serves on the Board of Directors for Dreaming Out Loud, Inc. – a D.C.-based non-profit that sponsors character education programming for elementary and high school youth throughout the District. In joining UELP, Clarisse is incredibly excited to continue to explore transformation management, taking a closer look at how urban school districts can better apply entrepreneurial strategies and practices in order to accelerate reform measures many jurisdictions already have in place. Clarisse received her Master of Arts in Teaching from American University in Washington, D.C., and her Bachelor of Arts in English and Music from Loyola University Chicago.