A Dedicated Member of our Centro Family
Raquel Guadarrama is an amazing and integral part of our Centro family, who has been involved with Centro in some way for almost her whole life. Her parents moved to Utah in 1974 because they heard about Centro de la Familia, a school for migrants that was opening in Utah and needed teachers.
She remembers that at that time, Centro operated just one school for migrants that students would attend from the time they were babies to ages 13 or 14 when they would help students find jobs. Raquel’s mom began working for Centro’s Migrant Head Start program in 1975 and stayed there for over 25 years, becoming the first Hispanic woman to earn her CDA.
Years later, Raquel wanted to work for Centro de la Familia, but she didn’t have her high school diploma, so Centro helped her achieve this. When she returned to Centro a couple of years later, Centro also helped her earn her CDA so she could continue working in the Head Start program.
After teaching for a couple of years at Centro, Raquel noticed that there was a shortage of bus drivers. After talking with her team lead, she decided to take the necessary classes to become certified. She remembers being so nervous to drive her bus, but as soon as she saw the smiles on her students’ faces, she knew it was worth it. She loves being able to interact with students and families one-on-one as they enter and leave her bus, and the students and families adore her just as much as she adores them.
“She treats every single student that she works with and every parent as an extension of her own family, and I think that you only really get in a program like this.”
Centro is a family matter for Raquel- her mother was a teacher, she was a teacher, her daughter was a teacher, and her son was a teacher, not to mention that her oldest daughter, oldest son, and her grandson were all students at Centro. Raquel has been asked to be a teacher again and even to do another job, but she refuses to leave her bus and her kids. She loves Centro because they know and understand her roots, and we are so proud and excited to have Raquel as part of our Centro family.
Check out this video to hear more about Raquel’s story!