Parent Spotlight: Marcelina Islas Moreno

By: HFSV September 27, 2021

Like most families in San José, Marcelina and her incoming ninth-grade daughter, Vanessa, have been adapting to staying home and learning virtually. Marcelina’s family routine of working, taking Vanessa to school, and completing errands is no longer, as their new normal has come with economic challenges and health safety worries during this period of COVID-19. She, like many others in our working-class Latinx community, is waiting for it to be safe to return to work and has been figuring out how to navigate the virtual world of online learning with her daughter.

Before the shelter in place order in March, Marcelina participated and graduated from an 8-week Parent Education Academy class sponsored by the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) with Cathedral St. Joseph’s community of parents just before the shelter-in-place order in March.

Marcelina shares, “PIQE was a very positive experience because we learned how to support our children so they get to university. I learned how to monitor grades, how to understand GPA, and how to better comprehend literacy reports.” Marcelina reiterated how instrumental it is to have this new knowledge in understanding her daughter Vanessa’s educational milestones to better support her.

Due to Marcelina’s graduation from the Parent Education Academy, she was eligible to enroll Vanessa in HFSV’s first-ever virtual Girls Who Code Club, a workshop series where students learn about computer science with women leaders at the forefront to increase representation of young women in STEM. Vanessa successfully completed the class and graduated a few weeks ago.

Additionally, Marcelina shares that virtual learning through Girls Who Code has been an eye-opening experience for both her and her daughter: “It is great that my daughter had the opportunity to participate in Girls Who Code because she has become more interested in a STEM-based career creating and designing automobiles! Every week Vanessa would share with me what she learned in her Girls Who Code workshop and I could tell she was enjoying it! It is crucial for girls, in particular, to have programs like these because they are not as represented in STEM and they can and will succeed in this career field too! The tools offered in HFSV’s Girls Who Code Club will help inspire our girls by exposing them to careers in technology.”

Marcelina expressed a new appreciation for technology usage, as she was largely unfamiliar with virtual learning prior to COVID-19. “As a parent, I have learned so much about technology over these past few months and realize how it is more important than ever to adapt and learn through technology alongside our children. Thank you to HFSV for giving Latinx families like mine access to such helpful programs!”