She studied early childhood education at the Central American University José Simeón Cañas (UCA). There, Stephanie received a scholarship from a program in memory of 8 martyrs – six Jesuit priests and two women companions who were killed at the university in 1989. As a result of her experience with the scholarship program and studying at the university, she became more aware of the national reality and she became more interested in how she could utilize her skills as a teacher to positively impact the lives of Salvadoran children.
Her journey has not been easy. She lives in Soyapango, a town outside of San Salvador and each day, she traveled nearly three hours round trip to reach the university and now she does the same for work here at the Center. After she graduated, she worked in private pre-school as educational coordinator and now her role is a lead teacher.
She firmly believes that children are “the present moment” rather than the idea that they are “the future.” More specifically, she strongly advocates for early education and argues that from birth to seven years of age is the time when you build a person’s morals. Therefore, she believes that if the child grows and learns in an appropriate environment, the benefits will be reflected in the child later in life – from someone who lives out their values to someone who makes an investment in society for the better.
Some of Stephanie’s responsibilities within the Center are to accompany the teachers, develop more teamwork and collaboration among the staff andimprove the Center’s curriculum. All of her efforts are working to improve the children’s learning experience. She enjoys working with the students because from her interactions with them, she learns what level they are at and what more she and others can do to best support them, in and outside the classroom.
Stephanie dreams of creating her own nonprofit organization to help more children gain access to education. Just as others helped her achieve her goals, she wants to do the same for others. She is very grateful to all those who have supported her on her journey, especially her parents who have supported her unconditionally. She is currently participating in a continuing education course on “Methodologies of Early Childhood Education.” She likes to study and plans to continue studying to become more specialized so she reach her goals.
We are very happy to have Stephanie on the team! We know she will help us to improve the quality of education that we offer to children and families.