I was born in the San Fernando Valley, the middle of 3 children, born to working class immigrant parents from Mexico. I was raised by my parents and grandparents, learning at a young age the value of a close family and hard work. My grandfather had worked the fields of the central valley of California as a brasero in his younger days, sending money back to my grandmother, who would often sew, wash and iron for money, in Mexico. When he and the rest of the family finally immigrated to the U.S. in the mid 70’s, they worked hard and pooled together their money to buy their first home, the house I grew up in, in Pacoima. He started a small gardening business with my dad. After my parents met and married, having met in English night classes, my mother worked her way up to management in a bigger company while my dad worked as an electrician. Together through hard work and sacrifice, they put my siblings and I through private school up until middle school.
I graduated from San Fernando High School and was the first of my family and first woman to obtain a college degree, having obtained my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Cal State Northridge. From there I first became involved with education, working closely with EL students in the bilingual department at James Monroe High School for the next few years, first as a T.A., then as a permanent substitute. I eventually returned to Cal State Northridge to obtain my teaching credential.
After a few teaching assignments at various San Fernando Valley schools, and one in the heart of Salinas in the Central Valley of California, I finally landed at APEX where the students and population closely resemble the neighborhood and students I went to school with at San Fernando. It has been a privilege and a challenge working here, but I can honestly say that for the first time in 5 years, I feel like I have found a place where I am proud to work at and look forward to coming to everyday.