Erin Whalen is focused on using education to provoke and entice change. His mantra is, according to his Instagram bio, “Be the change you wish to see!” As Executive Director of Da Vinci RISE High, Whalen is helping to prepare students for college, career, and life beyond school. Born into a proud Black, Chicano, and Indigenous family, Whalen was himself enticed by education’s power to provide people with a sense of self that could be leveraged as a powerful force in the world. He began his teaching career in Miami before moving to Los Angeles where he continues to be an educational source for students in vulnerable communities. —K.M.
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