#LatinosTeach, Recognizing Angel Acosta


Angel Acosta was born in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, which is known for their leather industry. Due to economic circumstances, his family immigrated to Southern California when he was four years old. Despite growing up and struggling through poverty at an early age, his parents would always tell him to focus on his schoolwork so that he could go to college. He focused on his parents’ advice despite various economic and educational struggles that came from living in under-resourced communities. He ended up going to college and received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and a Master of Arts in political science from California State University Fullerton.

Interested in helping his community, he decided to begin a career in teaching. Currently he is working towards a second master’s degree in special education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is a special education teacher at Manual Arts High School teaching mathematics to 9th and 10th grade students. As a teacher, he works diligently to authentically understand his students’ academic and emotional needs. He further strives to help them understand and liberate their own potential in the process of learning and creating knowledge.

Why do you teach?

I teach with the goal of empowering students to take hold of their education and become self-advocates who will strive to succeed regardless of the ecological and social limitations placed on them.

What do you love about teaching?

I enjoy working with students with diverse needs who are bright, intelligent, but are usually misunderstood.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

My brother was a great teacher that inspired me. He taught in the Bronx and in South Los Angeles. I saw him teach with great passion and humility, and even though some days he seemed exhausted, he never gave up on his students.