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Vero rejected learning Spanish until college, when she fell in love with the language. She lived in Mexico City for a year as a Fulbright Scholar and has studied the language on her own outside of school settings. Vero loves learning and helping others learn and build new skills. She is a Harvard-educated doctora and a leadership development specialist who helps organizations across the globe create more effective, equitable, and inclusive work environments. She speaks to her two young children exclusively in Spanish.
Josie learned Spanish through summers with her abuela and in school; she is now an early childhood bilingual teacher in Klein ISD. As a 2020 Teacher of the Year in her district, she went above and beyond to support her students and families during a worldwide pandemic. She brings nearly 20 years of experience as a bilingual educator and deep expertise in early childhood language development, STEAM learning, social-emotional development, and culturally responsive education. She is a mother of two who speaks to her children in English while cultivating their Spanish language and Mexican culture through intentional experiences and activities.
Amanda understands Spanish and knows all of the words to the Amor Prohibido album but has difficulty conjugating verbs in real-time. She came to appreciate the Spanish language later in life when her Spanish-speaking abuela moved into her multigenerational home. Using broken Spanish, she was able to build a relationship with her grandmother that she never had before. Today, she supports her teenage daughter in learning Spanish through online tutoring with native speakers and plenty of exposure to Selena. Amanda is a lawyer with nearly a decade of experience with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Irene was born and raised in Donna, Texas. Her first and home language is Spanish, but she never learned Spanish in school settings. In fact, she was punished for speaking Spanish in school. Nevertheless, she kept Spanish alive at home and frequently used it in work settings. She spoke to her four children in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. All four children have varying levels of proficiency in Spanish. Today, her Language Preservation Parenting journey includes keeping her family connected through delicious Mexican meals, speaking exclusively in Spanish to her two Mexican-American-Danish grandchildren, and speaking Spanglish to her three Houston-based grandchildren.
Carolina Soto Bonds
Carolina Soto Bonds is a Bronx native, Bank Street alumna, a writer, and holds a Master’s in Education. She holds New York State certification in early childhood education, Birth - 2nd grade, and is working toward certification in Students with Disabilities. Bonds is currently an Education Director and is a strong believer in developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practice as a cornerstone of effective teaching. Bonds carries a ubiquitous awareness and appreciation of others’ lenses, perspectives, and cultures— she celebrates her own, by utilizing her Dominicanness and roots in education as catalysts for change. She shares her love of travel, food, and all things Caribbean/Afro-Latin, with anyone who will listen. Bonds resides in New York City where she continues to work for the communities that saw her grow up.
Rebecca grew up learning Spanish from telenovelas and conversations between her parents. In college, she got the chance to practice her Spanish while studying abroad in Spain, interviewing people who lived through the Spanish Civil war for an oral history project. Rebecca has spent the past 10 years working as the grant manager and communication lead for a local non-profit organization in San Antonio, Texas.
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