Maimona Afzal Berta developed a sense of urgency to dismantle cycles of inequity through education while volunteering at the San Jose Public Library and running the Homework Club and Reading to Children programs. Tracking developmental milestones of young children while working at San Jose State University, taught Maimona the potential and power of early childhood education. Today, Maimona teaches special education at a public middle school only a few blocks from her childhood home in East San Jose. She believes in anti-racist, trauma-informed, and individualized instruction that fosters self-advocacy, so that students are empowered leaders of their own learning. In 2017, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year for her efforts.
Experiencing the effects of ineffective education policy compelled Maimona to run for a school board vacancy in the Franklin-McKinley School District, where she was unanimously appointed by the Board. Maimona won her election to the Board in 2018, and has continued to collaborate with city, county, state, and stakeholders across the country to lead on policies from environment advocacy to Ethnic Studies. She is the youngest elected woman in Santa Clara County and the first Hijabi (headscarf-wearing) Muslim elected official in the State of California. Maimona received Congressional Recognition by Congresswoman Eshoo in 2019 was named a 2020 Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Kalra.
Maimona advocates in the classroom while concurrently serving as Vice President of the Franklin-McKinley School District Board of Education. Being a proud daughter of immigrants and a speaker of several languages, Maimona advocates in support of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in our schools and community. In response to COVID-19, Maimona co-founded the Digital Equity Coalition, which is leading work to provide access to free devices and wifi access for thousands of families across Santa Clara County.