Link is proud to announce that Maria Pilar Paradiso, Link’s head of school, was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Award for School Leaders at the Schools That Can 14th Annual Forum 2019 Luncheon in Newark. The award, presented by Schools That Can in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is awarded to a school leader who has displayed “moral courage” and who has worked toward the betterment of their school environment and communities. Cara Kennedy Cuomo, granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, presented the award to Mrs. Paradiso.
The award Mrs. Paradiso was nominated for the award by Link staff for her commitment to “equity, justice, and instilling these values in others” and for her moral courage in leading Link’s conversion from an independent school to a public charter school.She spearheaded the expansion of the school to reach more students at an earlier age and, after the conversion, her vision and leadership resulted in very positive results for the under-served youth of Newark. With Mrs. Paradiso at the helm, Link has become a leader in urban education, and Link’s best practices have been shared with both public and independent schools. She arrived at Link in 2002 and was appointed head of school in 2010.
Schools That Can (STC) is the country’s largest cross-sector network of urban schools serving low-income communities. It reaches more than 200 schools across 15 cities, serving more than 80,000 students. STC works with students, teachers, and school leaders to re-imagine education through real-world learning that closes the opportunity and skills gap. By connecting leaders to powerful practices and models, developing teachers and engaging students, STC has, and continues to make, an important difference in the lives of American urban youth. Link has been a proud member of STC since its founding in the early 2000s. In 2010, Link co-hosted the STC Annual Forum, then also in Newark, with St. Benedict’s Prep.