Rosalba Bonilla Acosta lived in El Salvador as a young girl to care for her father after her mother and older sibling fled to the U.S. When her father died she moved to the US along with her younger brother and older sister, who was born with cognitive delay. As a youth, Rosalba began advocating for disability rights. As a young immigrant living in the United States, Rosalba felt empowered by her early experiences of caring for her father and managing his business as well as her strong English skills. She naturally fell into the matriarch role to her mother, siblings, and extended family here in America. Rosalba found herself shouldering all the translation of culture and language for everyone in her home.
Rosalba went on to graduate from Bell Multicultural Bilingual High School in Washington, D.C., and shortly after she was hired at a start-up early childhood education program at 17 years old. That program grew to become CentroNía, where Rosalba quickly moved to play a leadership role in advocating for low-income families to have access to high-quality education and support services. During her 30 year tenure at CentroNía, Rosalba has assumed many roles, from working in the classroom to now as Director of CentroNía’s Maryland State programming.
Today, Rosalba is committed to advocating for quality early education in the state of Maryland and is extremely proud of the success of CentroNía’s programs in Maryland and the ongoing recognition of CentroNía as a model for early childhood education at the local, state, and federal level.