Collective responsibility resonates strongly in supporting our communities, urging us to recognize the beauty and brilliance present within our own people.

Dr. Nancy B. Gutierrez, President & Lead Executive Officer of The Leadership Academy, and Dr. Roberto Padilla, superintendent of Community School District 7 in the Bronx, share their journeys as educators and advocates for students of color. Together, they challenge the prevalent belief that success necessitates leaving one’s community.

In a world that often promotes the idea that leaving one’s community is essential for success, this episode celebrates and elevates leaders who choose to remain rooted in their community. It advocates for inclusive educational practices and a new definition of success that is closely tied to community strength and identity.
Listeners are invited to reflect on their role in reshaping societal ideas around success and community. We help promote a culture that honors and celebrates the unique richness of different places. By amplifying voices and experience

🚪 Roberto was brought into foster care at the age of four: initially not prioritizing school, significant life events shifted his approach.  02:58
👩🏽‍🏫 Nancy’s passion for learning blossomed in 8th grade: she pursued a career as a teacher and later as a school principal in her hometown of San Jose.  07:52
🚶🏽‍♂️ “Leave to succeed” mindset: Roberto reflected on feeling compelled to walk away from his community and motivated others to share their stories about it in the ‘Stay and Prevail’ book. 11:25
🥰 A love story about their home communities everyone said they should not love. 15:08
⚠️ We have an obligation in educational space:  be aware of the messages we convey to children, our perceptions of their communities, and how we are redefining success.18:58
🌞 Equity as a problem we are trying to solve VS equity as an opportunity we want to cultivate. 21:01
🤯 Sometimes messages are repeated across generations of loved ones: home is not  good enough, disconnect from the identity and source of your character. 23:03
⚡ Ron’s personal life crisis: leaving a meaningful legacy and empowering kids to mirror his background to make a difference in their communities.  23:55
🔥 Stop comparing ourselves to what people have told us we need to be. 26:32
😇 “Stay and prevail” community leaders are fully connected and accessible: take on those hard conversations and stay in that space. 28:44
😍 Roberto’s journey of leaving and returning: carrying “home” with you wherever you are,  fostering love and support for numerous children in the district. 31:48
😇 A “hardcore home girl” who found success in NY: offering mentorship and inspiration to everyone in San Jose. 34:27
🌞 Don’t bash children’s communities, let them choose whether to leave or stay: embracing the power of family connections. 38:55
💎 Nancy’s RONdering: Why is my brain trained to think I don’t deserve some things, and I’m not enough? 41:50
💎 Roberto’s RONdering of ongoing growth: not seeing black and brown children from very tough areas in the real light of their talents and worthiness.  43:39

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Roberto's LI: 
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What is Ronderings?

In season one of Ronderings, Ron talks to his guests about their superpowers, including career advice, diversity, mindset, wellness, and leadership. Ron grew up in New York City, and has been coaching and leading executive searches for the last five years, taking what he has learned from 15 years in corporate, higher education, government, and non-profit contexts. He and his wife are obsessed with reality television, and Ron also moonlights as a men's personal stylist and group fitness instructor. Ron says, "I believe in the power of intuition and deepening one’s self-awareness and impact on others. I believe in the power of connection and transparency. I believe that we must dismantle systems of oppression and racism to recover our fullest humanity. Most of all, I believe our power to change the world starts from changing ourselves first."