Feature Image for Black History Month Employee Spotlight: Ms. Vida post

Black History Month is a month that recognizes the adversities that African and Black Americans have faced and continue to face, throughout U.S. history.

In 1976, February was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford as Black History Month. He encouraged citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.

February is a time for us to celebrate African American culture and heritage and honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr., and more. It’s also a time for us to highlight CentroNía’s very own heroes as well!

This year, CentroNía is spotlighting early childhood educators and CentroNía employees who not only positively impact the lives of the children and families we serve themselves, but also help CentroNía continue its mission in providing affordable and accessible high quality child care education to low-income, working families in the greater metropolitan area.

For this Black History Month employee spotlight meet Ms. Vida, a CentroNía teacher!

Ms. Vida sitting by the microphone getting ready to lead a fun story time session with CentroNía students.

CentroNía: What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?

Ms. Vida: My favorite thing about being a teacher is that I am able to inspire and encourage the children to become anything they want to become. I am able to see the children's growth over the years.

CentroNía: Do you have anybody who you admire who identifies as Black/African American and who inspired you to get into the early childhood sector?

Ms. Vida: I admire and am inspired by my African American mother because she only went to the 6th grade. As she grew older and had children, she went back to vocational school to get her high school diploma.

CentroNía: How important do you believe it is to have Black/African American educators in the early childhood education sector?

Ms. Vida: It is important to have an African American teacher in the Early Childhood Education field because we are equal regardless of our skin color or hair. I am able to represent the children and advocate for them as I am an African American educator. Also, African American teachers are able to connect with the African American students through food and language.

CentroNía: How do your values align with CentroNía’s mission?

Ms. Vida: My values align with CentroNía beliefs in that we both put the children first and their safety.

Ms. Vida reading Hair Love by Matthew Cherry

CentroNía: Tell us about your career path. How did you end up in your current role with CentroNía?

Ms. Vida: The path that lead me to be at CentroNía was attending Briya to get my CDA. My positions [at CentroNía] were then promoted from floater to a Teacher.

CentroNía: What is your favorite activity to do with your students at CentroNía?

Ms. Vida: My favorite activity to do with the students at CentroNía is reading a book and bringing it to life.

CentroNía: What has been your favorite memory with CentroNía students?

Ms. Vida: My favorite memory with CentroNía students is being able to go on field trips with the students before the pandemic. Also, during Valentines day, some teachers, children, and I created outfits to march around CentroNía for Black History Month.

CentroNía: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming an early childhood educator?

Ms. Vida: My advice for new beginning early childhood educators is to believe you can inspire to give children wisdom and knowledge. It is hard work but it is rewarding.