Julian graduated from Florida International University with a degree in History and a Caribbean Studies certificate. From here, he is currently pursuing a master's degree from Western Michigan University.
As a historian, he was required to read many firsthand accounts as well as literature from different time periods. While reading, it became necessary for him to use critical thinking and writing skills to teach and learn more about history. As a native Spanish speaker, languages come naturally.
While obtaining his degrees in Florida, Julian was a teacher for an afterschool program called Bricks 4 Kidz. He taught kids to use their critical thinking skills to build models using Legos. With an emphasis on using one's imagination and creative ideas, Julian encourages students how to think and learn in a fun learning environment.
Mayela was born in Durango, Mexico, but was raised in the industrialized city of Monterrey, Mexico where she Graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Technology. She has BA in Accounting. She has worked in financial and accounting audits for KPMG and freelance work. She also is an English language instructor from the same institute in Monterrey. In 2010 she moved to McAllen, Texas and in 2015 moved to Grand Rapids as she and her family were uprooted due to her husband´s employment. Since then has moved on to teaching Spanish for Lingual Learners and is an ELL bilingual teacher's assistant in the Sparta school district.
Mayela is the proud Mother of two beautiful girls, two yorkies and has been happily married for 20 years. She has found her passion in teaching Spanish to children and helping immigrant children to learn English. She is very empathetic, kind hearted and really cares about their development. Other than teaching the language, she enjoys exposing them to the vast and wonderful Spanish speaking cultures. Mayela enjoys reading and traveling abroad. During her 20 year marriage, she and her husband have visited Paris, London, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Monte Carlo and Italy. She loves to be in the company of her family and cannot wait for the moment to go visit her loved ones in Texas and Mexico.
Hannah graduated from the military's Defense Language Institute for spanish and went on to serve in the Navy for 6 years as a spanish language analyst. Hannah worked in the intelligence community utilizing her language skills to translate and analyse data and deployed with the coast guard to assist in anti-narcotic efforts. Upon returning to civilian life Hannah began work at Bethany Christian Services working with teenage refugees from Mexico, Central and South America providing life enrichment, support and English tutoring. Hannah loves teaching people of all ages from children to adults and sharing her love of language and the joy of connecting with people in their native language.
Hannah is especially creative and is ready to approach teaching from many different perspectives. She understands that not everyone learns the same and is ready to adapt and discover the best type of learning that works for her students while at the same time pushing them to strive to reach their best potential.
Carmen was born in Mexico. She grew up in the state of Sonora. She has a BA in Accounting. In 2008 she got married and moved to Tucson, AZ. She was a volunteer in United Way-VITA during Tax season. She was a foster mother too. In 2015, she moved to Grand Rapids, MI due to her husband's employment. She has worked teaching Spanish in Lingual Learners and volunteering with some families. She loves teaching Spanish and Hispanic Culture to children and adults. She also practices English with her nephews.
Carmen is very responsible, kind and reliable. She enjoys cooking, reading and traveling with her husband, extended family and friends.
Joel is an environmental science practitioner and a budding college professor. He has worked as a biologist-surveying fish, bugs, and plants to monitor environmental impacts, and as a farm planner-supporting local farmers to adapt sustainable agriculture techniques. He also spent 4 years during and after his master's (from MSU) working on rainforest conservation in Central America. He loves to help people appreciate the natural world and to understand key concepts in science, math, and language that enable students do good work in their future careers. He is a teacher at his core and aspires to teach college environmental science.
When he's not leading field trips, meeting with farmers, or in the classroom, he is out canoeing and fishing on Michigan's rivers and lakes, playing hockey, or cooking local foods.