01 Jun Meet Rita Alcantara: Family Empowerment Coordinator
Here at Tiny Trees families are one of our core values. We recognize the family as the world’s foremost expert on their individual child and that a great school requires a collaborative and supportive relationship between care givers at home and teachers in the classroom. That’s why we’re excited to welcome Rita Alcantara as the Family Empowerment Coordinator for Tiny Trees where she will help build and strengthen our community of families, create opportunities for learning, and coach & support teachers in how to best use the wisdom of our families.
There are so many reasons why we’re thrilled to have Rita join our team (we recommend reading her cover letter below), but here are a few highlights:
- Rita excels at building supportive and caring communities and has been a vocal advocate for Tiny Trees – a number of our enrolled families heard about Tiny Trees from Rita.
- Rita has been a leader and educator at some of our favorite Seattle non-profits: Families of Color Seattle (FOCS), Arts Corps, Powerful Voices and Youth in Focus.
- Throughout her career she has worked at building culturally responsive and welcoming communities including as a facilitator for Families of Color Seattle (FOCS).
- She’s a trained Doula and birth educator.
- And lastly, Rita has the passion, courage and optimism to create vibrant communities and build great teams.
Please join us in welcoming Rita to Tiny Trees!
Dear Andrew and Erin,
I respectfully submit my résumé for your consideration for the position of family empowerment coordinator. I saw this job announcement and grew excited at the possibility of engaging in an organization that works in so many areas that I am passionate about.
To be fully transparent, my daughter will be attending Tiny Trees this fall and I am thrilled that she will be doing so on the same patch of land where I attended preschool thirty-three years ago. This return to the Park for our family brings us full circle in so many ways. I grew up in south Seattle and am the daughter of immigrants. My parents were the first in their families to migrate to the United States and established deep roots for our family here. My mother ran a daycare in our Beacon Hill home for over thirty years spanning my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Our home not only served the infants and toddlers but the families of these children as well. My mom often connected people to opportunities for employment and housing, passed on hand-me down clothes from family to family and acted as general support for families of all backgrounds. Her career has clearly inspired mine.
Our home was a training ground for my decade-long involvement in educational organizations serving young people. Most of my professional work has been with social justice organizations serving adolescents but since becoming a mother in 2013 and working as a doula and birth educator since then, my career and interest has turned toward early learning and family support. Thirty years of exposure to childcare prepared me well for this season of my life, my professional transition and for this position at Tiny Trees. Not only did I spend countless hours outside playing in the backyard with other children, looking for bugs, climbing trees, watching clouds, and whatever else we could dream up, I also interacted with parents daily. I learned from my mother’s example of creating a community from building strong relationships with the people she served and sharing information and resources.
I want to be a part of this type of early foundation for all children. As a person of color, I want to engage other families of color in understanding the importance of connecting children to early education and doing so in the natural world. I could write on and on about how this is particularly pressing for marginalized communities given the health issues related to our modern American sedentary lifestyle and the inaccessibility of healthy food options for low-income children and children of color. These interrelated issues are very personal to me.
My attached résumé outlines my work for organizations that aim to address social injustice toward young people in roles that required dexterity in communication and coordination. I am conversational in Tagalog and have a background in visual and performing arts. I seek employment at an organization which has a strong anti-oppression analysis, fosters a fun, creative workplace culture that welcomes critical feedback and courageous conversations, has a diversity of identities represented in leadership, is flexible in meeting the needs of both the constituents it serves and its own employees. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills and passions align with the mission of Tiny Trees. Please contact me if there is anything else I can provide you with.
Thank you for your kind consideration. Sincerely,