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How Parents as Teachers and AmeriCorps Improved My Life

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

My name is Avelyn Murillo. I am 31 years old, a mother of a 4-year-old, and am currently expecting my second baby. I learned about Parents as Teachers during a Halloween event at the El Paso Zoo. I signed up, unaware that such a wonderful experience was about to begin.

My son was 15 months old when my family entered the PAT program and connected with a Parent Educator. It was awesome to have a mentor, research-based information, activities, and someone with whom I could discuss my concerns. I invited my husband to join our classes; together, we improved our parenting skills and became the best parents that we could be. Every question that I had about whatever topic, our Parent Educator always had information. In the rare event she did not, she would research resources and give them to me as soon as she could. Being part of the Parents as Teachers Program as a mother was an amazing experience, so I looked for the opportunity to join the team as Parent Educator.

The following year, I was hired as a Parent Educator! I remember how happy I was to have the opportunity to share with the community my experience and give back all the good things that I got from the program. In that service year, I grew up as a mother, as a professional, and as a person. During this time, I took a break from my bachelor’s degree studies. I knew that at the end of that service year I had to return to school and thanks to the AmeriCorps Education Award, I did it! I earned my Bachelor’s in Spanish and I started my Master’s degree in Bilingual Education. In addition, I learned so much information and ways to help families in our community, including my own. Through my experience with AmeriCorps, I also improved my English. My first language is Spanish, but at some point, I had to serve English-speaking families. It was scary at the beginning but it has been an opportunity for growth and overall an exciting experience. I am more confident speaking English and communicating with English speakers. This journey was not always easy but during challenging times, I found support from my team and family.

The Parents as Teachers program has been a key in my life, I am so grateful to be part of this program and to have the experience, information, and opportunities it afforded. Looking back at the person I was and the person I have become, I am so happy with the improvement.

Author: Avelyn Murillo

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