Article by Jeff Schnaufer, for First 5LA

Entering second grade can bring about feelings of anticipation and anxiety for any child, especially when they have just moved to a new city. For a young boy in the 1970s, entering a new school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) brought more than just butterflies in his stomach. It was the beginning of a nightmare that would impact him for years.

It’s a nightmare that haunts his sister, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, even today.

“When we came to California from Mexico, my youngest sister had just started kindergarten. I was in third grade. My sister Susan and my brother are twins and were in second grade,” Rubio recalled. “My brother got misdiagnosed by LAUSD. They put him in special education because he didn’t speak the English language.”

It was the impact of her brother’s experience —and her parents’ determination to overcome the perils of immigration and deportation to create a better life for their children —that shaped Rubio into the champion for children she is now.

Born in Juarez, Mexico, Rubio immigrated to the United States at a young age with her family, eventually settling in California. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Master’s Degree in Education with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Azusa Pacific University. Before being elected to the Assembly as a Democrat representing Baldwin Park and surrounding communities in 2016, Rubio spent 16 years as a teacher and 20 years in elected office, serving on the Valley County Water Board and Baldwin Park Unified School District.