Marianna Aguirre, Gabriel Vega, Julie Timmerman, Alina Gallardo, Simone Simmons-Deed, Dorothy Kim, Natalie Gaudinez
Ethnic minority members who want to sharpen their leadership skills, network with colleagues and learn more about CTA so that they can advance their personal and professional goals have opportunities within CTA.
The Ethnic Minority Early Identification and Development Program (EMEID) asks for commitment of time, but the experience is “so worthwhile,” says Margie Granado, EMEID Workgroup chairperson, noting that CTA is committed to seeing ethnic minority leadership numbers grow.
CTA advocates for our students and the profession, the Montebello Teachers Association member added. The “current class of 18 members is developing skills and expanding their knowledge about CTA, understanding the work we are doing. This involves connecting them with other members and teaching them what we know. It is much easier if you understand the organization and know who to go to for what.”
Dorothy Kim, Associated Pomona Teachers, says she has encountered difficulties because of her ethnicity. “This helped me understand how to deal with that, and helped me focus on future goals.” She credits her coach, Morgan Brown, for strengthening her leadership skills.
“I learned we are a family at CTA. I’d never grasped that before,” says Gabriel Vega, Moreno Valley Educators Association. “Learning how the organization runs, and about contracts, makes me confident to teach how I want to teach, to not be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to my teaching.”
Julie Timmerman, Vacaville Teachers Association, agrees. “Becoming a better leader helps me become a better teacher. I’m involved in language acquisition, and through CTA connections I’m meeting those who teach other languages,” she says. “Everyone wants to help each other to be the best we can be, and to advocate for our kids better.”
“This experience has been empowering because CTA does so much — there’s a lot more than I thought!” says Marianna Aguirre, Tracy Educators Association. “Growing up, it was hard to get an education, coming from a farmworker family. I discovered, regardless of your background or ethnicity, there’s a place for you within CTA.”
Interested in applying for EMEID?
CTA accepts up to 20 participants for each year. Since it started in 2006, 97 members have participated in EMEID. Find the application and program details at www.cta.org/emeid.