Don’t Be A Marshmallow: My Experience with Advocacy

“Your child is bright. He could grow up to become the President of the United States.” I was in the fifth grade when I heard those words from my teacher. Because my parents spoke only Spanish, I was asked to be the translator at my own parent-teacher conference. I relayed the words to my parents with mixed emotions. I was proud hearing them, but also troubled. I knew at an early age I could never become the President of the United States—I was an undocumented immigrant. Yes, I was bright and I had goals and ambitions, but I was uncertain whether I could ever reach them. Through hard work and perseverance, my family earned our permanent resident card and, in 2009, we became U.S. citizens.



You A Scapegoat? Answers to Who’s Accountable For Learning

We all like having someone to blame. Whether it is the state of the economy, security, sanctions (or lack thereof), it just seems to feel better if we can point a finger. Learning is no exception. Educators point fingers all the time. Americans bemoan the state of public education. States experiment with different ways to resurrect dropping exam scores and poor testing results. College faculty often blame high school teachers who often blame middle and elementary school teachers. Teachers also blame parents for not fostering good study habits or disciplining their kids, and blame students for not studying enough.





Leaping through fire — or, preparing to go to graduate school

Words of wisdom: grad school edition.

I remember graduate school quite well, partly because the memories are still fresh (I got my doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Miami in 2012), partly because it was such a tremendous experience and partly because it has no comparison to anything before or after it. What I learned in graduate school was of course a lot about how to become a better clinician, scientist and community steward.