LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Isabel Rodriguez

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: St. Brigid School
School District: St. Brigid School
City, State: Portland , ME

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Isabel Rodriguez was nominated by her colleague, Christine Blais

With the help of her students, Ms. Rodriguez organized a fundraiser at St. Brigid School called "Pennies for Puerto Rico." She wanted to help the Americans struggling in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Ms. Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico herself, and she still has friends and family living there. Students contributed to the project by looking for loose change in their couches, doing extra chores and even donating their tooth fairy money. At the end of every day, they announce the total amount of money they have collected, and the students feel so proud of what they have accomplished. The school has raised over $2,000, with the money going to an organization that directly helps people in Puerto Rico.



Comments (30)


Kathy Gassnola Posted over a year ago

Congratulations to Isabel, such a sweet and caring person!

Conchy Posted over a year ago

Great job, Isabelle!! Not only are you teaching your students the academics! You are also teaching them to care. Thank you for all you and your students have done. Puerto Rico thanks you!!??????

Christine Blais Posted over a year ago

This project is just a snapshot of the wonderful things Isabel brings to every child she has had the opportunity to work with! I have been in the classroom for 10 years and have never seen someone so dedicated and passionate about what they do! Just when I think she couldn’t do anymore, she calls me up and says “guess what I am doing with my students!” I am blessed to know her and to have worked alongside her!

Connie jones Posted over a year ago

Way to go Isabel ! Great job! Teaching kids to help others!

Kate Brunelle Posted over a year ago

I was lucky enough to work on this project with Ms. Rodriguez. Her passion and enthusiasm fueled an unbelievably successful fundraising project that taught our children about selflessness and giving from the heart. Wonderful project and wonderful teacher.

Kayla Posted over a year ago

My daughter has Ms. Rodriguez as a teacher this year and she is absolutely wonderful! I am not one bit surprised that she was nominated for this award. She is a blessing to St. Brigid School!!

Melodye D. Posted over a year ago

As soon as I met Ms. Rodriguez, I noticed her energy and enthusiasm for teaching and for her students. She brings a great blend of both excitement and calmness that works well with the kids. Her willingness to step up to the plate on the "Pennies for Puerto Rico" fundraiser was infectious. We, at St. Brigid School, are very lucky to have her here with us. Congratulations Ms. Rodriguez!

julia.napolitano Posted over a year ago

I'm Julia Napolitano, I'm a fifth grader at Saint Brigid school. I'm writing to let you know that Ms. Rodriguez is a fabulous teacher and she put a great fund raiser together for pennies for Puerto Rico! I'm really proud of her and our school!!!

Lorna Posted over a year ago

Qué hermosa noticia para comenzar mi día! Dios te bendiga mucho! Me encanta que seas maestra y que lo hagas con toda esa pasión! Bravo!!

Katie Kenyon Posted over a year ago

Isa, you are AMAZING!!!! You are a blessing to St. Brigid School and Puerto Rico. You have a very giving heart. CONGRATULATIONS

hannah napolitano Posted over a year ago

I am a fifth grade student at St .Brigid school. Mrs.Rodriguez is a fantastic teacher she has helped many 1st graders. Pennies for Puerto Rico was such a good idea. The school had a lot of fun finding all the coins in there house. Mrs.Rodriguez is very nice and kind. we are very blessed to have Mrs.Rogriguez in our St. Brigid community. I have heard so many good comments about Mrs. Rogriguez. Thank you for every thing you do for the school and all the students. This has ben a fabulous year so far. You help the St. Brigid community come even closer together. Thank you for everything.

isabella napolitano Posted over a year ago

Dear Ms.Rodriguez, you are a wonderful teacher at St.Brigid community. You are kind ,brave , caring , and loving to all of us in the community. With the pennies for Puerto Rico is a amazing thing we where doing and it really helped Puerto Rico's hurricane. In st.brigid community you are like family to us in every way you can. And all the stuff you do for the community is so so thoughtful to us. from:Bella

Erica Posted over a year ago

Love you Isabel, your spirit, your passion, and desire brightens everyone’s day! Keep that fire going strong! Miss you!!

Naidabellopez Posted over a year ago

Buen trabajo! Gracias! Felicidades!

Brenton DeFlitch Posted over a year ago

I put a request for children's books on Facebook for my immigrant refugee Newcomer Academy in Nashville. Not long after, she messaged me saying that she had and could get several boxes of books. She packed them and mailed them to TN all on her own. These comprised the single largest donation of books for the entire drive. She is THE Life changer. Her impact goes beyond just her school and area but to Nashville, Puerto Rico, and countless more. I doubt you'll find someone with more heart, empathy, compassion, and the skills to execute than her.

Cindy Kenyon Posted over a year ago

Isabel is such a kind and giving person. She jumped right in thinking of ways she could help. She taught her students the joy of giving. She is a blessing to those around her.

Daisy Rampolla Posted over a year ago

Congratulation on your work for those in need. Great example for your students on compassion and love for others. Keep up the work and blessings to you and you students!

Dr. Josie Hernandez Posted over a year ago

Excellent example and experience for the kids and the school. They will remember it for the rest of their lives. Well done.

Rafo Posted over a year ago

Isabel, your great grandmother's name ( Doña Isa) inspired a generation of local boricua kids (including me) now that same tender spirit inhabits your heart.

Betsy Payne Posted over a year ago

Felicitaciones Isabel! No surprise that she is being recognized for what she is doing - she is such a lovely young woman!

Socorro Rivera Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! The seeds you plants now will give stronger humans beings for the world. This effort will not be forgotten from your students, their pennies has gone, but they learned the pleasure to help others in needs. Good job. As a teacher I can tell you that this experience will live forever.

Ada Zubrzycki Posted over a year ago

One of the most talented and enthusiastic student I had to joy to teach in my 40 years teaching French. I really love Isa. Congratulations and thank you for all you do for others!

Margarita Vazquez Bauza Posted over a year ago

She is beautiful inside and out.

Madeline Posted over a year ago

Teaching empathy, which is so lacking in modern society, it's the greatest service to humanity. Love it!!.

Martha Elena Posted over a year ago

Felicidades Isabel Que orgullo para tu familia y para todos los Puerto Riqueños Yo una mexicana que te admira Se ve que lo que sembraron tus padres Cucho y Vilma con tanto amor Tu con ese corazón tan grande haz contribuido para ayudar Eres un ejemplo a seguir Ojalá que Trump aprendiera de personas como tu Felicidades Eres una Gran Mujer !!!!

Chiqui Rodríguez Posted over a year ago

Distance does not matter for the love and compromise that Isabel has for her beautyful homeland, Puerto Rico. Against all odds, PR will get back on their feet again. Thanks Isabel for your initiative, your students and peers for making a difference towards our recovery after the worst disaster in our country. ????????

Margarits Posted over a year ago

I vote for her.

Ginette Cruzado Posted over a year ago

Thanks Isabel for what you are doing for the people of PR. Many are still without electric power. And the cities in the Centre of the island are devastated. We will rise But ir will take some time. XXOOXX For the kids.

Vilma Posted over a year ago

Mega orgullosa de todos tus logros. Eres un ser muy especial y muy dada al prójimo. Sigue adelante siempre!!!! Love you ??????

Edgardo M Velez Posted over a year ago

Ms. Rodriguez we are very proud of your work. Keep moving forward and the sky is the limit.