Emmy O’Dwyer is the proud daughter of first generation immigrants from Honduras. She has worked with children from birth to adulthood for over 20 years as a teacher, school administrator, and nonprofit founding director. Emmy opened the first new childcare center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina wiped out 80% of those programs. Post-disaster recovery work shifted her personal mission to a two-pronged focus on the power of interactions with children, as well as the need for adequate funding and supports to fully realize the opportunities of early education. Formerly, Emmy lead the strategy for continuous quality improvement in early learning centers Louisiana Department of Education. These programs strengthened the early learning workforce, built efficiencies in the system, and increased families’ access to quality early care. She is currently the founder and principal of Advancing Communities for Equity, a consulting firm focused on systems-change in early childhood. Emmy’s work has resulted in national recognition as a 2014 W.K. Kellogg Foundation fellow, a commendation from the mayor of New Orleans, and most importantly, the admiration of her three children and husband, Kevin.