About this page: Meet our New Program Assessment Specialist: Alex! - A Blog Article by BrightStars of Rhode Island

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BrightStars, Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement system, assists families in finding care and recognizes and supports quality in early care and education programs.

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Meet our New Program Assessment Specialist: Alex!

What is your professional background?

My professional background involves experience in a little bit of everything, but I identify my professional background mostly with social work. In 2013, I taught an English Second Language Class at the Cape Henlopen Public Schools in Delaware for a year. Afterwards, I pursued service abroad with the Peace Corps on the coast of Ecuador for two years. My main project involved risk management and awareness about first aid, fire prevention, rip currents, and marine biology. After I completed my service abroad, I became interested in law and worked as an advocate for farmworkers across the state of New York. During the harvest season I explained health insurance, wages, taxes, and labor rights to hundreds of apple, dairy, bean, and produce farmers. One of my most enjoyable work experiences recently includes interpreting at the Rhode Island Free Clinic as a volunteer. I was able to offer help to those in desperately in need of medical and mental professional attention.

What do you find most fulfilling about working in early childhood education?

I find that making a positive impact for young children across the state of Rhode Island can make a lifetime of a difference. Every day that I work with the Environment Rating Scale Tools, I come to understand more about developmentally appropriate practice and why it is so important. Being a part of the BrightStars team that helps implement these strategies in the classroom makes this type of work worth it. I see first-hand how positive interactions, health and safety, furnishings, and schedule all affect the learning and development of young children. The years of 0-5 is crucial for the development of cognitive, relational, social emotional, and all other types of concepts. If we can raise healthy children now, the future is destined to be a brighter place.

What is a skill you’d like to learn, and why?

I would like to learn sign language. After working with some people who only speak Spanish, I understand that those who don’t speak English can be very isolated in the American culture. Those who can’t hear or speak well must feel a similar separation. That’s why I would eventually like to become an interpreter or help the youth who can’t have the same interactions as a person with normal communication skills.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and what would you do there?

I would to travel via submarine to the bottom of Mariana’s Trench and see or discover the complex life forms living in the deepest subduction zone in the world.

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