YOLIE FLORES has dedicated her career to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and families. Throughout her 25-year career, she has held various leadership, management, and policy positions in city and county government, non-profit organizations, philanthropy, and in elected office. In every position, Yolie has committed herself to helping ensure that all kids—but most especially children from low-income families—grow up with opportunities to lead rich and fulfilling lives
Born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Huntington Park, Yolie attended schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District – the same schools she represented as an elected member of the LAUSD Board of Education, where she served for four years, and the kinds of schools and students that she helped bring attention to as CEO of Communities for Teaching Excellence.
Upon graduation from Huntington Park High School, Yolie went on to be the first person in her family to attend college, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands, and 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 Policy and Planning 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, the largest children’s partnership network in the United States. For almost a decade, in this capacity, she led an ambitious change agenda that focused on strengthening families and improving outcomes for children through large-scale reform, family and community engagement, and data-driven planning and policy development. Her key accomplishments were the development of a safe surrender county policy, establishing community partnerships through the Service Planning Area Councils, and the launch of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, the nation’s first evidence-based parent leadership program for Latino immigrant parents with children 0-5 years of age.
Between 2007 and 2011, Yolie served as a member and Vice President of the LAUSD Board of Education, the second largest school district in the nation. She was elected to serve students that were reflective of her own experience as an English learner, low-income student with immigrant parents. It was 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 championed some of the most significant reforms at LAUSD. During her tenure, Yolie led efforts 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 education plans for new schools and underperforming schools. She also authored the Educator Effectiveness resolution, again, pushing for policy and practice changes to support and enhance teacher quality. She led on issues to improve outcomes for English language learners, improve quality and access to the District’s early education programs, and increase dual language programs from preschool through grade 12. Yolie championed the Parents as Equal Partners in the Education of their Children resolution – the district’s most robust plan to ensure parents a meaningful role in their children’s education.
Yolie currently serves as Chief Program Officer for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and on the non-profit, non-partisan Boards of Coro Southern California, the Education Trust, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
Yolie lives and plays with her puppy Molly in Los Angeles.