ISABELLA BENITEZ-CORDOVA - Floating Assistant

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At the tender age of 2-1/2, I was enrolled at La Mariposa Montessori, where I was fortunate to receive my early childhood and elementary education.  I grew to count on the joyful experience I found at school each day, along with the loving guidance and support I received on a daily basis from my teachers.   With their assistance, and a lot of hard work, I was able to overcome my learning differences with a sense of independence and confidence.   As a child, I was naturally unaware of the impact this environment would have on my life as I moved through middle and high school. After graduating high school in Largo, Fl, my family and I returned home to New Mexico, where I was excited with the generous offer from Katrina, to work at the school over the summer.  

My plan to enroll at SFCC for the fall session was delayed a semester, allowing me the opportunity to work full-time at La Mariposa for the past year, while going to school part-time.   Although I was unsure of the path to take in my education, my time working as a floating assistant gave me the opportunity to interact with students in each of the classrooms, lending a hand, an ear, a chuckle or a hug, wherever and whenever needed.   I once again found the joy I had experienced as a child in this magical environment, that was somehow lost during my years in public school. The relationships that I was able to cultivate with the students and the dedicated and committed staff, helped me to realize the natural inclination I had for working with children.  It was clear a door had been generously opened for me and I am excited to have declared my major in Early Childhood Education, while working under the tutelage of the La Mariposa staff, for whom I have the utmost love and respect.

I smile each morning when I walk in these doors, just as I did at age 3, and I am so grateful to now have the opportunity to work alongside the teachers who helped cultivate the person I am today and whom I now look to emulate.  I hope to give back to this community as much, if not more, than it has provided to me.