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Meet Marisol

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My parents came to the United States chasing dreams and prioritizing education for their children above all other things. I attended Providence College as a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and a minor in Sociology in 1994. My commitment to advocacy on behalf of children began three decades ago while I was in college; I volunteered with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Providence, R.I. in order to learn about the child welfare system and to amplify youth and family voices.

I'm a Lawyer, Specializing in Child and Mental Health Advocacy 

 

I went to law school to be an advocate for children. Upon graduation from Northeastern University School of Law, I was awarded the Bart J. Gordon Fellowship to work at the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts. Since 1997, I have provided high quality, zealous representation for youth in hundreds of juvenile justice, child welfare, and special education matters.

In 2015, I joined Health Law Advocates as a Mental Health Advocate; I was appointed by Juvenile Court judges as an expert in marshaling community support, leveraging family and attorney engagement, as well as accessing mental health and special education services for children with complex trauma histories. 

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To improve access to education and mental health services for kids, I designed and launched an innovative statewide legal services program that serves an unprecedented number of families in Massachusetts. Working with public interest groups, I lead legislative lobbying efforts, establishing an earmark and resulting in millions of dollars in state public funding to sustain the advocacy. I have drafted legislation and testified before committees in the state legislature.

I'm an Educator and Author

I currently teach students pursuing advanced degrees at the Boston University School of Public Health. Previously, I was a professor at University of Massachusetts – Lowell and William James College. I have co-authored numerous articles for the American Bar Association’s Children’s Rights Committee and trained thousands of attorneys on education and children’s mental health issues at statewide and national conferences.

From these experiences, I have the skills necessary to be an effective School Committee Member:

  • A deep personal commitment to social, emotional, and educational well-being of children;

  • 25 years of child advocacy legal experience;

  • A fresh perspective with statewide knowledge of education policy;

  • Expertise in navigating mental health systems;

  • In-depth knowledge of special education law;

  • Government relations skills, including legislative and budget advocacy; and 

  • A track record of ensuring high quality education for all children.

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My Family

 

Our family loves living and working in Westford and we have put down strong roots. In 2001, my husband came here to work at Sonus Networks. In 2012, we bought our home on Pleasant Street - drawn by the outstanding school system. Marisol A. attended Blanchard Middle School and graduated from Westford Academy 2019. She now works at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Jamie went to Crisafulli Elementary School as well as Blanchard Middle School; she currently expects her high school diploma in June of 2022 from Westford Academy.

Our Volunteering, Fundraising and Hobbies

 

Our family values service. My husband is a veteran and as a St. Jude Hero Ambassador, I have personally fundraised over $25,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Our daughters have been very involved in Westford Girl Scouts and have both completed their Girl Scout Silver Awards. Marisol  A. (age 20) went on to receive her Gold Award in 2019 and Jamie (age 17) is currently working on her Gold Award Project. I served as a volunteer with their Westford Girl Scout troops – including being Cookie Mom! 

My hobbies include playing board games and watching Marvel movies with my family, running with the Greater Lowell Road Runners, biking on the Bruce Freeman Trail, eating ice cream at Kimball Farm, practicing daily yoga, and reading overdue library books from the J.V. Fletcher Library. 

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