Giving Back to the Community – Denise Figueroa-Cruz, New York (CounciLINK, August 2013)

Denise Figueroa-Cruz

As the Council continues to grow, we are now offering more tools in Spanish than ever before. We are so excited for every opportunity to connect more with the Spanish-speaking community. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Denise Figueroa-Cruz an aspiring Child Development Associate from New York. Denise is a bilingual ECE professional and is currently working towards earning her CDA Credential. Denise learned about the national CDA credentialing program while working at the New York City Department of Education.

Denise has over 25 years of experience in the education field working with both children and adults, she has also earned a number of certifications through National Association for Children and Families (NAEYC) and 86 college credits. In her many years of experience, Denise says, “I have touched so many little hearts and seen them grow and become successful adults.” Now living in New Jersey, Denise has recently been given an opportunity to teach preschoolers in both Spanish and English.

Speaking with Denise over the phone, I could hear the passion and excitement in her voice to do more and to give back to the Spanish-speaking community in any way that she can. Denise says, “I was very happy to see the Council introduce the CDA in Spanish, this will open so many doors. This makes a big difference in my life.” Denise also continues to promote the professional development of Spanish-speaking adults, applying for their CDA Credential, by conducting ECE workshops in her free time.

Denise’s interest in teaching and mentoring is truly inspiring. During our conversation I encouraged her to apply and to share with her colleagues about the new Professional Development (PD) Specialist training available in Spanish. ECE professionals, like Denise, are such a valued asset to the Council and for CDA Candidates. Denise is very interested in becoming a PD Specialist. In addition to applying for her CDA early next year, she plans to begin working toward meeting the eligibility requirements for the PD Specialist mentoring program.

Keep up the great work Denise, you make a difference!

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