Transformative Principal
Discover the secrets of school leadership in this weekly interview podcast with top leaders in education.

Cristina Garza is the director of social impact for the Mission Economic Development Corporation. She curates and leads all STEAM and entrepreneurship initiatives for this EDC, and through this work commits herself improving the financial mobility of area residents, and fostering progressive and equitable economic development practices. Among the programs she founded are Web of Women, an initiative to teach technical skills to women professionals, and Career Readiness and Empowerment of Women (CREW), a multidisciplinary internship that trains young high-school women to serve as leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship. She is  2017 Next City Vanguard and named by CityLab Latino one of the Top 20 Young Civic Leaders of 2017. Before her career in economic development, Cristina worked in several museums in New York City including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin of Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Museum. 

  • What prevents the community relationships from having this kind of impact?
  • By the time they leave your school, they are not attractive to industry.
  • Don’t want to give tax incentives just to have them import their talent!
  • It’s not worth it to train someone who doesn’t have the soft skills.
  • There could be better systems where EDC pays for the high schoolers to work somewhere.
  • Challenges with push to early-college schools.
  • You were ready to get out of your hometown.
  • Too scared and insecure to do the real things that I wanted to.
  • Seeing myself as being capable of talking about.
  • Shy away from educational issues that are hard to measure
  • Feeling like we are not good enough.
  • Define what is important.
  • Everyone is measured by their productivity and we are teaching kids that.
  • Reevaluate how much time we are putting in kids’ schedules to think about these issues.
  • Have time in kids’ schedules to go to counseling and go to group therapy.
  • There are only two things that kids do all day in school: Compete or try to get good grades
  • How rare it is for kids to have an opportunity to work on something that is open ended.
  • Hard to ideate because they have never been given a prompt and how to deal with it.
  • Ideas come from spending time thinking.
  • Start the semester with what are the problems you see affecting you and others?
  • Giving kids time to find their own story and their own why
  • They are experts in their lives.
  • Policies should be done in consideration of their voices.
  • The level of complexity that youth today are experiencing.
  • Understanding their power and owning their truth.
  • how to be a transformative principal? Spend at least one hour sending emails to industry leaders asking about how to prepare their kids?