My Advice To Parents Is Don’t Settle

A couple of decades ago, my husband and I migrated to the United States with many hopes and dreams. We came here with an elementary and middle school education. I wanted to continue studying and dreamed of being a flight attendant, but after coming here, my dreams changed. We knew life here would not be easy, but also, that there were more opportunities for the family we were planning to have. We came to work and eventually had three children; two daughters and a son. Our most precious treasures. Ever since we became parents, our mission has been to help our children have a better future by reaching their goals and dreams. 

I have always had a SI SE PUEDE mindset and when it was time for my kids to start school. I knew I was not going to settle for mediocre. Early on, I learned a successful and supportive school environment made all the difference. I began searching for schools and found the best school options for my children. They started with ROCKETSHIP, SI SE PUEDE for elementary school, then KIPP HEARTWOOD for middle school, and KIPP SAN JOSE COLLEGIATE for their high school.

I reflect on those decisions my husband and I made early on, and am grateful to have found quality public schools to help my children reach their college goals. Right now my son Salvador is in his second year of college, majoring in aerospace at the University of California Irvine. My eldest daughter Marlene is in her first year of college, in the nursing program at San José State University.

As a parent leader, I want to give advice to all the parents and guardians reading this article; get involved in your children’s education and be present at their school. Become engaged somehow.  

I personally took this advice from my mom, when she emphasized the importance of being involved in my kids education. When my children began preschool, I volunteered as much as I could, even with the little time I had. I found ways to help in and out of the classroom; such as cutting materials at home, or wiping down tables when it was possible. During these times I was able to learn more about the teachers, staff, and environment. 

I think if I had been less involved, I would not have been able to pinpoint the things my kids were lacking when they attended traditional schools. They weren’t performing to their best potential when they attended a district school, and I was not going to wait for things to get better! We made a choice to look for better options and I am grateful we trusted our parent intuition and made the move. If things don’t feel good at your children’s school, look for options. Don’t settle.

When my kids began attending Rocketship, I became even more involved at their school. Rocketship has a special way to embrace parents, and make you feel like a part of their community. They made me feel welcomed right away, and I was happy to volunteer my time to help with event planning, process of renewals,  and requests that came up. 

I encourage you to find ways to participate and volunteer; you being present for your children makes a big difference. Attend parent meetings, and don’t stop showing up when they get older. You must continue to stay involved and learn all you can about the classes they need to take in order to get into the college of their dreams. Learning about the collect application process is also important; it is not easy but showing your children you are there by their side can make all the difference. 

My final tip for you is when it’s time to go to college, support your children with the school of their choice. It will not be easy, but do it. Don’t hold them back. Take it from a mommy who has two kids in college right now.

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Maria Serratos

Maria Serratos

Maria Serratos is originally from Jalisco, Mexico and a mother of three children, two daughters and a son. Being an education parent leader, Maria wants all students to have a high-quality education. She has been fortunate to have found excellent public schools for her children to attend, and is an advocate for school choice. She would like all students to have access to great schools and be college ready. Maria is an entrepreneur and business owner who has resided for 21 years with her family in San Jose.

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