A community partnership meeting at Edmonds Community College on the college’s Parent Mentor certificate, which serves mostly Latina women, is 3:30-5:30 p.m., April 9, in Snohomish Hall 304. The campus is at 20000 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood.
Edmonds CC’s Parent Mentor Certificate is the outgrowth of the Washington Alliance for Better Schools’ Natural Leaders program, where parents work with immigrant families, acting as liaisons between public schools and families with limited English skills, listening to their ideas on how to help their children be successful in school and offering learning opportunities for children and families.
The certificate, part of Edmonds CC’s Family Support Studies department, helps Natural Leaders gain career skills as parent mentors, family support workers, or family advocates.
Several Latina parent mentor students will share personal stories on how the program has allowed them to attend college and improve their confidence while also helping to support and strengthen our communities. They include 40-year-old graduate Carmen Ziranda, who immigrated to Washington from Guadalajara, Mexico, who has been hired by the Edmonds School District and is now helping Spanish-speaking families feel at home in our schools.
The students, who are bilingual and bicultural, come from school districts, Head Start programs, and ECEAP programs in Snohomish and King counties.
“This is a huge step forward for a lot of these women to attend college,” says Helen Nissani, program director for the Parent Mentor Program. “Their stories are heartwarming and inspirational at the same time.”
Students in the certificate program are taught simultaneously by English as a Second Language and Family Support Studies instructors. They may also receive assistance with financial aid and child care, as needed.
For more information on the Parent Mentor Program at Edmonds Community College, see this link, which includes a video featuring Carmen Ziranda.