Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors Virtual Conference
When & Where:
July 21, 2021
10:00 am – 1:00 pm CDT
What it is:
Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to hear from those who have lived the experience as an unaccompanied minor in the American school system.
The Bilingual/ESL Department at Region 10 ESC in North TX holds an annual symposium for their 500+ educators. This year, due to the COVID pandemic, the event was help virtually.
I was honored and humbled to be invited as their 2020 Symposium 'Power Of Unity' keynote speaker. I was so excited to connect and meet so many passionate educators who are working hard to provide their very best for all students.
The keynote presentation was on June 23rd and it was a way to kick-off the symposium - teachers had a long day of sessions to attend right after the keynote.
My presentation title was 'Shifting from Statistics to Stories'
The presentation was streamed LIVE so you can find the recorded version on my YouTube channel below.
Updated on 10/24/19
Publications on the event: Mid-Island Times: Renowned speaker shares inspirational story with Hicksville students click here!
Over a year ago, Lisa Estrada, author and Supervisor of the English as a New Language (ENL) and World Languages department in Hicksville Public Schools in New York, invited me to visit her schools. The dates she considered never coordinated with the dates I had available. Until...we finally agreed on October 7th, 2019.
The ENL department had organized a Hispanic Heritage celebration with several events throughout Hispanic Heritage Month and at different schools throughout the county. Lisa's idea was to bring in a guest speaker who would inspire Latino students to embrace and appreciate their heritage as well as be encouraged to be successful in school.
I don't think I can explain the excitement and the honor I felt when I received Lisa's invitation to be the guest speaker they needed for this event. I have done several keynotes and presentations all through the country, but a keynote presentation for students was going to be my first ever!! Without a doubt, I accepted the invitation and started planning my visit to Hicksville Public School.
During the summer of 2018, I received an email from SIOP® senior project manager at Pearson, Allyson Newton, with an invitation of a lifetime. The email was an invitation to serve as a featured keynote speaker at the 2019 SIOP® National Conference in Portland, OR.
Wow! I wish you would've seen my excitement. No words can explain how humbled and honored I felt to be considered. Not only was I going to personally meet THE SIOP® author, (incredible women I admire for their work and passion,) but I was also going to share a national stage with them. An opportunity I couldn't miss!
On Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 I had the amazing privilege to attend the 15th Annual Maryland ELL Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN) Conference.
MELLFIN is a non-profit organization, committed to sharing information and resources in support of immigrant families living in Maryland. MELLFIN is a collaborative body, cultivating effective strategies to appropriately meet the needs of Maryland's increasingly diverse and fast-growing immigrant population.
The theme for the 15th annual conference was "Schools and Community Partnership = EL Success". I was honored and humbled to be one of two keynote speakers - Ms. Becky Pringle, Vice President of the National Education Association was our morning keynote and I served as the afternoon keynote.
I had the privilege to share my immigrant journey as well as a few tips to support families and English learners to reach their full (and sometimes hidden) potential.
Mannheim School District 83 in Franklin Park, IL holds an annual Bilingual Parent Summit and I was honored to be invited this year (2019) as a guest speaker.
The Bilingual Parent Summit is designed to provide Latinx parents the opportunity to engage and learn strategies and activities to work with their children. The summit not only provided a wide variety of workshops for parents but also a great meal for the entire family. It was wonderful for sit down and lunch with families as they asked questions and asked for support to better care for their children.
I had the greatest privilege to share my immigrant journey as well as my struggles and difficulties as a language learner here in the USA. They best part of the presentation was that it was ALL in SPANISH...yes, and a little in English for our non-Spanish speakers. I noticed several parents crying and hugging their children while I was sharing.
After the presentation, I had the opportunity to have to open Q&A sessions where parents asked questions and were free to discuss methods to support their bilingual children.
From the moment I made it to IL to the day I left, Dr. Piedad Kaye was so sweet and amazing with me. I have so much to thank her for. First of all, she believed in me and gave me the chance to share my story with her staff and school families. She also, was very kind offering all her help knowing I was not feeling well. District 83 provided nothing but royal treatment for me! LOVED visiting them and I would LOVE to go back.
I also had the amazing opportunity to meet Sarah Said. I met Sarah through twitter and we've collaborated in several twitter chats, including #ELLchat_bkclub. It's amazing how connected we felt even though we had never met before.
I was honored to attend a wonderful family event night organized by the English as a Second Language of Rowan-Salisbury, North Carolina. This meeting had ELs and their families at heart. Not only they allowed me to share my immigrant story and EL experience to the audience in Spanish, but also they had several workshops available for parents.
I loved taking questions and answering concern parents have in regards to second language learning; using native language at home; the law that protects ESL students; how school system works in the USA, etc.
I can tell that a lot of parents felt a connection to my story and I hope that my story stays with them forever!
The Virginia ESL Supervisors' Association (VESA) hosts an annual conference that provides K-12 Virginia educators and administrators of English Learners opportunities for professional development, learning new ideas, networking, and program planning.
I was honored to join Dr. Kate Kinsella as keynote speakers for the 2019 conference entitled: Creating Pathways to Proficiency
You can access the full conference program below!