I was born in the Dominican Republic and my parents named me Regina. I was one of the eleven brothers and sisters who made my immediate family. Our main language is Spanish. My educational history in the Dominican Republic began after I left the village I was born in. I completed my elementary, intermediate, and secondary schooling in the Dominican Republic. Upon completion of high school, I entered college and became a substitute teacher. This marked the beginning of my teaching career. I attended college in the Dominican Republic known as Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) enrolled in a childhood education program. 

My life took a sharp turn after migrating to the United States. After moving here, I was able to become the person I am today. I developed a connection to the habits of the mind, persisting, thinking flexibly, and listening with understanding. Persisting is not giving up easily when pursuing a goal or objective. Challenges and differences of opinions are elements that need to be overcome as one persists in reaching a goal. This idea is a reflection of when I tried to transfer my school transcript from the Dominican Republic to a CUNY. I persisted for around five years trying to get the transcript until I finally got it. Having a flexible mind, I decided to enroll in a private school to get a medical lab degree and even with the transcript issue, it was still part of my agenda. Few years later, I made a few trips to the Dominican Republic and received the school papers to enter a CUNY school.

I started to see the implementation of the skill of thinking flexibly after working in an after school program (SCAN NY) in a public school in the Bronx. This skill showed me how to use different strategies in different situations to either meet the student or family needs. There were times when I changed my mind when disciplining or designing a lesson after thinking it over. At the same time, the skill of “listening with understanding and empathy” became apparent because while working with families in the poor community, many parents were facing different challenges and were able to listen and find solutions to some of their needs. The same occurred while working with young students in the program who were non English language speakers and I had to listen and find solutions to their problems. During this time working with these families and children, I found out that I had to persist in becoming a teacher because I am able to listen, understand and work with them to meet their social, academic, and any other possible needs. 

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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