elaine ruiz lopez author headshot

Elaine Ruiz Lopez

Chief Executive Officer at International Leadership Charter High School

Dr. Elaine Ruiz-López founded a charter high school providing college prep for underserved NYC youth.


Dr. Elaine Ruiz-López was born to working-class parents in the South Bronx, where she persevered as a teen mom high school “pushout” to earn advanced degrees, including a doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College. A passionate advocate for immigrant and diverse communities, she founded New York’s International Leadership Charter High School in 2006 to provide rigorous, college-prep education for underserved youth.

Over the years, Bronx officials have presented Dr. Ruiz López and the International Leadership Charter High School with proclamations. In 2022 she was recognized as one of the Power Women of the Bronx. In June 2023 she was recognized by the Black Latinx Asian Charter Coalition (BLACC) and presented with the Educator of Excellence Award at the Mosaic Gala. She currently resides in her beloved neighborhood, the Bronx, with her husband, Tony López.

the fight for equity bronx book cover by elaine ruiz lopez

The Fight for Equity in the Bronx

Changing Lives and Transforming Communities One Scholar At a Time

In “The Fight for Equity in the Bronx,” Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez, born in the South Bronx, overcomes teen pregnancy and adversity to earn advanced degrees, driven to serve children from backgrounds like hers. This memoir chronicles her vision to provide rigorous, empowering education in her hometown despite systemic barriers…

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