Meet the Team
Founder & CEO
Maria Kopicki taught in the public school system for 30 years, including 5 years beyond her retirement eligibility! She wanted to continue the legacy she created with her life and classroom motto “It's all about the LOVE.” Making the tough decision to retire as a public educator in June, 2019, Maria received her real estate license, and has chosen to spread the love by founding and pursuing EvolveK12. Her new motto,
"It's not all about the money, it's all about the love.”
Maria says “I will never forget being 12 years old in middle school and receiving my Christmas present from a local charity.” At that moment she had realized that her family didn't have any money. Growing up the oldest of 5 children being raised by a single mother. Funds were tight and as a result, opportunities were missed. Maria had to forgo on many school field trips and often had no choice but to wear shoes and clothes that improperly fit! However, Maria’s positive attitude never faltered because her mother had instilled in Maria a strong work ethic that focused on self reliance and independence. That strength inspired Maria to set a goal to use her talents to provide assistance to those in need so they may have the opportunities that Maria often could not! Mrs. Kopicki’s love for teaching and her constant mission to elevate her students often found Maria rummaging through her daughters’ closets to find shoes and clothes to donate to her students as their need was greater than her families! These minor gifts can change a student from reserved, shy and unwilling to engaged, highly motivated and confident. She observed this first hand!
Maria's main goal in creating this non-profit is to prevent kids from struggling and missing opportunities due to circumstances that are not in their control. Education in America is in a national crisis; drastically under funded and in many instances lacking basic staple services children need to become successful! Studies have proven that a lack of funding has impacted students achievement on standardized test scores! Maria’s first hand exposure of experiencing the loss of curriculum, resources and programs that were very much at the core of Maria’s passion has enhanced her unwavering commitment to help as many people as possible.
Changing lives one student at a time by leading with love to invest in education!
Co-Chairman of the Board
Director of Technology
"When someone gives anything because they have the heart and resources, they initiate the spread of love. The idea of human prosperity, not just materially, but mentally and physically, never came to my mind until I came to the age of understanding broad concepts. A catalyst in my understanding of this topic was learning about my parents' story at 14 years old. They told me how they came from struggling to put food on the table every day in India, having no money for luxuries and little money for basic staple needs, to being able to come to the United States to continue their lives and begin mine. I was enlightened by the fact that overcoming struggle was possible, and my parents had proven it to me. However, even though they were able to overcome such massive struggles in their life, I knew that such an undertaking is close to impossible today.
Living in the middle class, I know that I have many more opportunities than most Americans. This advantage is something that I have begun to appreciate more and more every day. However, what I have also begun to realize are the financial disadvantages that those who aren't as fortunate as me have in their life. A prime example of this is standardized testing because, in my eyes, popular tests like the SAT and ACT are testing who has more money rather than who has more knowledge. Yes, these tests can get a broad idea of a high schooler's intelligence, but those who are benefitting the most are those that can afford to pay for extra standardized testing preparation and classes. This is only one example of many factors that play a part in why reaching success is so difficult for most people in lower social classes. This becomes a never-ending cycle; the success that one achieves is then passed down to their next generation, giving them the opportunities that most will not have to start with.
My parents' story has motivated me to pursue my own goals, and at the same time, it has led me to realize that the education process is set up for a particular group of people to succeed. I see my parents as a rare example of being able to conquer the barriers of society, and this is what ignited my drive to overcome restrictions of my own, and to work towards helping others to do the same. All obstacles were no longer challenges to me, but rather a chance for myself to adapt, devise a plan, and win. I took detrimental events in my life as learning experiences, to set myself up to not worry about the same problems in the future. I would love for everyone to have this same mindset; to allow obstacles to become opportunities, and reach for the top no matter the circumstance. However, most don't even have the financial resources to be able to accept that they can do that. I saw this trend continue globally, even with my peers, people that I walked the halls within my school. Over this period of my life, I have made it my mission to provide more equitable opportunities for everyone. My vision was fueled by this ambition and intrinsic motivation to open as many nonprofits that I saw fit. The goal was to spread love through opportunity; I learned this concept, live this concept, and love this concept. I will continue to promote the welfare of all human beings, and especially those impacted negatively due to socioeconomic status. Even though everyone receives an education, not everyone receives optimal circumstances to make that education useful. We live in a society where this absence leads to the limiting of student achievement, where the inevitable decline in societal advancement will follow along."
Board of directors by location
Executive Community Liason
Community Outreach Coordinator
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Business Operations
Legal Counsel - Szura & Delonis P.L.C
Director of Business Development
Director of Chicago Operations
Co-Chairman of the Board
Director of Research and Development
Co-Director of Fundraising and Events
Broker - Baird & Warner
Director of Florida Operations
Vice President and Realtor
Director of Business Development
Director of New York Operations
Interested in making a difference?
Contact us today, and help us succeed in our mission to close the achievement gap by closing the funding gap!