CURRENT STAFF MEMBERS
At the BLC, Alma is the programs assistant and is currently recruiting for two programs— Padres Lideres (Parent Leaders) and LENA (Language Environment Analysis). Padres Lideres is intended to encourage parents to form their own groups and work together to prevent violence against children. LENA teaches parents how to communicate with their children between 2 and 34 months to promote brain development and help them reach milestones in speaking.
Alma is glad that through her work at the BLC she can continue to go above and beyond to help people. For fun Alma enjoys making pizza with her daughter Itzel—a creative and spunky eight-year-old who excels in performing arts—and their dog Jackie. We are so grateful and excited to have Alma on our team and are looking forward to getting to know her more.
“At first, it was really hard moving here because I didn’t know English,” Dalia said. “I also didn’t really want to move to begin with.”
Backside Learning Center worked with her family as they were settling in, and helped her begin her journey at Newcomer Academy. She also began participating in the Backside Learning Center’s Front Runner’s program.
“Front Runners was really good. They helped me with homework and reading.”,” Dalia said. “I learned a lot of English there.”
Dalia graduated from Iroquois High School last May. Now, Dalia gets to work with us where she laid her roots those years ago!
“I work with Front Runners, and was once in Front Runners. I have to take the attendance, make copies,” said Dalia.
According to Dalia, working in that same program as an adult is very rewarding.
“I think it’s awesome to have this point of view now,” said Dalia. “Because now I’m an example for kids.”
We are so excited to have Dalia on our team! She offers unparalleled perspective with our families, and is an invaluable member of our community.
Karla Peacock has been teaching for a little over 20 years in a variety of environments, ranging from public to parochial and private schools. These teaching opportunities have taken her to 3 states of Ohio in the Dayton, Yellow Springs and Xenia/Wilberforce areas where she attended an Historically Black College/ University of Central State University. There, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education.
After teaching in that area for a few years she then moved on to work in Montessori teaching settings by way of Florida in the St. Petersburg area of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. For the past 10 years, she's been back home in Louisville, Ky where she works in private school settings.
For many years she worked with ESL and refugee populations of students on both the child and adult level. She worked for 4 years with Catholic Charities working in the ESL school. She also helped manage the Family Learning Program with intensive language instruction and Family programming. She is a caregiver for her 91 years “young” mom, and is a pet parent to a rambunctious Azawakh puppy, a frisky Russian Blue cat and one tattle tell parrot.
She is currently attending Bellarmine University to receive a bachelor’s degree in secondary education to be a high school English teacher. She is a Louisville native who loves giving back to community any chance she gets. A passion that she’s come across through her college career, and through observations within various schools, is helping ELL students.
“I have absolutely loved teaching so far; I love all my students!” said Menéndez.
“They are hilarious and are quick learners. I am beyond thankful for being apart such a great organization and working with some of the nicest people. “
“I have a very big passion for nonprofit work,” Elena said.
She interned at Catholic Charities and Dreams with Wings. In addition, she worked with Social Services Manager Jennifer Dutton with us as the social services intern last fall. In her opinion, her internship at the Backside Learning Center stood out among the rest.
“It was different from past internship experiences that I had, especially in nonprofits working with immigrant clients,” she said. “The sense of community you guys have here is really unique!”
She said the interaction with clients is what she looks most forward to.
“I’m excited to meet people most of all,” said Elena. “Everyone here is so great. The people here are unlike anyone you know or meet.”
Elena will be mostly be working with the youth, especially in our “Creciendo Juntos” youth group! In addition, she will be helping Jennifer with case management and be an extra hand at our weekly fresh food market.
We’re unbelievably lucky to have Elena on our team!
Micaela was born in Veracruz State, Mexico. She and her family have lived in Louisville for the past 20 years with her husband and three children.
When Micaela first lived in Louisville, her first job was a hot walker on the Backside. Her English level was very limited. “It was difficult to find places to learn, or people that would help with reading documents and filling out paperwork.”
Then, Micaela met her husband at the backside, and he was an inspiration to her to keep studying. He was a student at Backside Learning Center, and found out The BLC could help her kids with homework after school. In 2017, Micaela studied very hard to get her GED. After three years, she finally passed!
We are so happy that Micaela has decided to join our “familia” as the Youth Engagement & Academic Success Coordinator. “I feel capable of helping the community on the Backside,” Micaela said. “I can identify with all of those people; I want to offer my sincere help.”
We are so honored that Micaela has chosen to work with us and the families of the back stretch!
Her desire to serve the diverse community of Louisville led her to volunteer with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Doors to Hope, and Change Today Change Tomorrow where she taught English, tutored for citizenship classes, and helped provide opportunities for the homeless. She worked for many years with youth facing hardship at the Clark County Youth Shelter of Jeffersonville, IN, and spent the last 3 years teaching Spanish at Portland Christian School. All of this has led her to the Backside Learning Center where she is so excited to be a part of the team. Alexina works as a volunteer coordinator as well as supporting operations.