Headshot Photo of Romy Greenwald
2023 Award Recipient


Project MiSendero

Location Santa Barbara, CA

Issue Area Education | Immigration/Refugee Support

Romy was inspired by her own family’s immigration experience and by a language divide she observed in her school to make a change that would unite and connect students from different backgrounds. She founded MiSendero, “my path” in Spanish, which brings together Spanish-speaking students learning English and English-speaking students studying Spanish with intercultural events and student-to-student tutoring programs, building bridges and removing social barriers.

Since 2020, more than 1,000 high school students in California and Florida have taken part in MiSendero, with hundreds receiving tutoring every week.

What started as a way to help some of my friends learning English participate in activities at my school has turned into a much bigger dream of creating pathways for immigrant student integration and success across the country.

Romy Greenwald
Romy Greenwald speaks with another woman outside.



MiSendero logoWith 1.1 million English language learners in California schools alone and more than 5 million nationwide, Romy sought to change a system that left many of these students isolated from the larger school community. By founding MiSendero, Romy empowered English language learners to serve as Spanish tutors and Spanish language learners to serve as English tutors while forming meaningful bonds. Following an enthusiastic response, Romy continued to expand MiSendero’s impact. She partnered with student leaders, teachers, and administrators to create more inclusive school environments where language is not a barrier to building lasting friendships and bonds.

Romy Greenwald posing outside a building.