I am a highly motivated, hardworking individual, who recently completed a second Masters' degree. Having achieved outstanding grades; I once again surpassed my High School guidance counselor's expectations of not being able to do well in college due to dyslexia. Excelling at complicated tasks with many moving parts and a wide range of stakeholders, I am seeking a position with fast-paced, ever-changing challenges. Finally, I enjoy being a role-model, demonstrating that disabilities can be speed bumps, not roadblocks.
- Over 20 years of Leadership & Project Management Accomplishments
- Over 20 years of Graphic, Online Presence & User Experience Design
- Developed and Administrated Multiple Service Learning Programs & Curriculum
- Broad Industry Experience: Aerospace, Education, High-Tech, Manufacturing, Research, Advertising/Marketing & Service
- Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Hootsuite, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, JotForm, Skype
- Online Presence: HTML, CSS, Content Management Systems (CMS) Wordpress, Drupal, Weebly, Wix, CMS Made Simple, GoDaddy, E-commerce, Blogs, Google Analytics
- Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook
- Adobe: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Lightroom, Premier
- Other: Google: Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets; Canvas Learning Management System
How do I provide a safe space for diversity in my personal life? I tell people that I have dyslexia. When my daughter first heard I had dyslexia, she said, "But Mommy, I thought you were smart!" I told her that dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. I actually feel that having dyslexia is a gift which enables me to easily process extremely complex situations and tasks. I often tell my 12-year-old daughter who has autism, ADHD, OCD, anxiety and scoliosis - all ways in which people are different is beautiful. I tell her to consider two of the finest woven tapestries. One is woven with a single colored thread and a single pattern throughout while the other is woven with a multitude of colors and patterns. Then I ask which would be more interesting, have more depth, have colors that more people like and better display the weaver's talent? We agree that it would be the multicolored tapestry (the fact that she has seen my weaver friend's loom definitely helps with understanding the concept). I tell her that the same is with life - diversity brings richness and beauty.
In my professional life while designing my College Access Corps program for local economically disadvantaged schools and realized one school was 63% Latino with many undocumented and migrant youth. I immediately began educating myself about the community since it was unfamiliar to me. First, I met with people at WWU who also provided outreach to those communities. They connected me with people in those communities that were willing to meet with me to discuss the intricacies of talking about schooling and college with community members. They recommended that I read a book that was written by migrant and undocumented youth in the same school district. I shared some of the information with my students the first year during my 2-credit seminar class. The second year, "DreamFields: A Peek into the World of Migrant Youth
," was required reading for the 4-credit "Coaching for Sustainability and Social Justice" course that I taught. Both years, a member from the community who was from a migrant background, undocumented and graduated from WWU came to speak to my class. He also answered questions so that coaches going into the 5th-grade classes would have an understanding of their students' challenges and strengths.
That work preparing my coaches helped them build new and deeper understandings as they reported in their final service learning reflection papers:
Coach 1 - "I really feel this course has had a profound impact on my life. It has introduced me to issues that I didn't know existed. Being an environmental education student, I feel that the lessons learned in this program will greatly affect my future as an educator. I would like to apply social justice work into my environmental education programs, similar to the concept of mountain school. This program proved to be very beneficial to the students of [ABC] Elementary. The teachers also expressed their appreciation of having us there. Thank you for providing the opportunity and platform for us to grow as educators and work towards dismantling the injustices of our society."
Coach 2 - "Working with underrepresented youth to give them the opportunities they deserve to get out and explore nature. From this program, I have gained so many tools in how I can help to fulfill my own dream of one day owning my own non-profit. Not only that, I learned so much from the students themselves. My mind has been opened into the world of our nation's youth, and in doing so I feel I am better equipped to equitably handle any future career I choose to pursue working with youth of color. I
undoubtedly still have a lot to learn, but this class really did point me in the right direction. Most importantly of course, it gave me the confidence to head down this path of work, because I now know it is what will truly obtain a sense of fulfillment in life."
Coach 3 - "When I look back at the past few months of coaching the fifth graders of [ABC] Elementary, I cannot think of a word that could describe the experience better than grateful. Grateful that I got to play a part in teaching the students that they all have the option to go to college, regardless of their interests, families' social status, race, etc. Grateful to know that the next generation already had knowledge and interest in post-secondary school, but now they have even more. And grateful to have
been able to see social justice issues taken place and then learn how to find solutions for them. Overall, this course has helped me grow as a person and I have gained a more defined perspective of social justice."
Coach 4 - "We can agree that this is a time for change and action. I will never forget the profound readings of this class, the integration with the students at [ABC] Elementary, North Cascades Institute, and the overall curriculum as it unfolded. I would recommend all courses to move in this sort of direction, in all departments, it was beneficial for not only my peers but for the students I worked with, and the environment as a whole."
Coach 5 - "I have gained insight into the social justice issues affecting the students both at school and at home. For example, a few students did not have time for homework because they had to feed and care for their siblings when they got home. In recognition of this sort of life challenge, Ms. [Smith] only assigns twenty minutes of reading for homework, which can be done with younger siblings. One student, with five younger siblings, was waiting to hear if her step father was going to be deported. This would leave her, and her mother, with a huge responsibility. These issues are daunting and there is only so much that can be done for these children, but Ms. [Smith] is a consistent advocate for her students."
Coach 6 - "Overall, these past three months of service-learning at [ABC] Elementary and learning in our classroom discussions about social justice and environmental justice issues have influenced my day-to-day life. This program has also influenced the students' understanding of environmental issues and post high-school opportunities."
In the end, I want the same thing for everyone else that I want for my daughter and myself - acceptance and appreciation of individual differences without negative judgment.