North Central resident Pearl Chang Esau feels like she has the best job in the world. As president and CEO of Expect More Arizona, “I get up and talk about something that I’m so incredibly passionate about, and that I know in my heart to be true from my own personal experience.”

Esau, who took home the 2014 ATHENA Young Professional Award, was a teacher in East Los Angeles and previously served as executive director of Teach for America. “I’ve seen first-hand the impact a high-quality education can have on a child’s life,” she pointed out.

“To really make a difference, I think it’s about believing in your own potential to have a huge impact,” Esau explained. “I also think it’s about interconnectedness … it’s about leaning on each other and it’s about working together to be successful.”

Esau never shies from a challenge. She also never misses a chance to encourage and guide other women or to support community arts and children’s issues. As leader of a nonprofit advocating world-class education for all children, she believes the transformative power of education can change the national conversation about Arizona.

Added Esau, “My vision is that Arizona becomes known as an education state. Where teachers want to go for a great system, where families want to move to give their kids the best educations possible, and where businesses want to relocate because such talented people are coming out of the education system.”


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