Edgar Miguel Grajeda

Edgar Miguel Grajeda is an educational leader, storyteller, and instructional coach who leverages his identity and multinational teaching experience to empower marginalized communities. He is an effective facilitator of learning who passionately uplifts the voices of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, first-generation students, and the teachers who serve them. Most recently he worked as a TEFL Advisor for the Foundation of Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan), where he led and collaborated with eleven other educational advisors to provide nation-wide professional development, curriculum consulting, and coaching to more than 165 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and their experienced Taiwanese co-teachers. This role, critical to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education’s goal of transforming Taiwan into a bilingual nation by 2030, has refined his leadership into a style characterized by passion, self-awareness, and a people-first approach to problem-solving.

Prior to being awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Taiwan, Edgar was accepted to Teach for America—a highly selective national service corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals committed to ending educational inequality and creating transformational change in under-resourced schools. In his career as a teacher, he has learned the importance of helping diverse students succeed through anti-racist and student-centered instruction. Edgar is a fierce advocate of biliteracy, culturally responsive teaching, and social emotional learning. He draws from reflective teaching practices in order to increase students’ academic outcomes while honoring the humanity and individuality of each student.

Edgar has also excelled at building relationships inside and outside the classroom. For example, he led efforts through KIPP SoCal Schools to facilitate bilingual workshops about local educational resources for Spanish speaking families in South Los Angeles. The urgent call Edgar feels to empower and uplift the voices of minority students stems from his own experience as a queer, working class, immigrant student. He has volunteered as a mentor to Latino college students in The Puente Project and as an Essay Reader for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. He desires to be a bridge-builder and obstacle-remover, a guide for students who are navigating formal schooling like he once did.

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Edgar became the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Chicano Latino Studies and Philosophy. During his time at “The Beach,” his status as an undocumented student motivated him to join multiple activist organizations such as La Raza Student Association and Students for Quality Education. These memberships exposed him to the collective power of community building and grassroots organizing as a means of dismantling systemic barriers towards educational mobility. While earning his Master’s in Educational Studies at Loyola Marymount University, he was awarded the Paulo Freire Academic Excellence Award and was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society in Education.

Through the National Urban Fellows Program, Edgar hopes to deepen his knowledge of data-driven policy and management skills to widen his impact in the field of education. Before then, he will cherish the personal and academic exchanges with his cohort, certain that together, they will build bridges, punch holes in walls, and make the road to social justice and equity easier.