Our People

Judith A. Yañez

Judith A. Yañez

Founder & Executive Director

As a daughter of immigrant parents and as a single mother, I relied on the support of my Northwest Arkansas community to help me navigate educational systems. It was through this support that I was able to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Arkansas. After graduation, I served as a mathematics teacher at Springdale High School and Haas Hall Academy in Bentonville. It wasn’t until I earned my Master’s degree and served as a teacher that I was able to help my own children become exceptional students. I was able to help them identify as learners and find the educational environments that met their unique needs.

Prior to establishing RootED Northwest Arkansas, I served as the Education Program Manager at the Cisneros Center for New Americans. My work at the Cisneros Center allowed me to meet hardworking parents. Parents that did not have an education beyond elementary school, resources, or support to make confident decisions for their child’s education. These parents reminded me of my parents. This experience helped me identify my passion and purpose to help families become confident advocates for their child’s education. Opening the doors to educational options and strong foundations in education that will continue for generations to come.

Prior to establishing RootED Northwest Arkansas, I served as the Education Program Manager at the Cisneros Center for New Americans. My work at the Cisneros Center allowed me to meet hardworking parents. Parents that did not have an education beyond elementary school, resources, or support to make confident decisions for their child’s education. These parents reminded me of my parents. This experience helped me identify my passion and purpose to help families become confident advocates for their child’s education. Opening the doors to educational options and strong foundations in education that will continue for generations to come.

Jessica Marez

Jessica Marez

Parent Program Coordinator
Erick Sanchez

Erick Sanchez

Social Media & Volunteer Coordinator

Erick was born in El Salvador, and migrated to Arkansas at the age of 8. Prior to joining RootED he worked with a number of political campaigns and has done immigrant organizing for the last 10 years. Erick is well RootED in his community. Erick is a freedom fighter and a movement builder.

Sara Chavez

Sara Chavez

Education & Community Engagement Program Coordinator