As a former educator, Mary Ann Rivera was an elementary school teacher for 27 years, and a Paraeducator for 16 years. Her career began in Puerto Rico teaching English as a second language. Transitioning to Chicago, she continued her career as an educator, gaining experience at the elementary and high school level. Mary Ann is currently a member of the National Education Association (NEA) and has been involved in leadership work representing districts on the local, state and national level as the NEA Director. Through her work as a liaison to the Illinois Education Association Human and Civil Rights Committee, she strived to advocate for students by providing resources to school districts. Additionally, through her work as a NEA ESP Director, she assisted in creating a resource, The Professional Growth Continuum, to further support ESPs in their individual careers. Mary Ann continued her advocacy and founded Supplies for Puerto Rico, an organization created to provide supplies and monetary support for schools after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. As the administrative assistant for PFR, Mary Ann continues her mission and advocacy to support students on a larger scale.