Zio's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    TEACH Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Chicago, IL

ZIO PEREZ

Teacher
Nettelhorst School

“For me to get where I am, a lot of people had to dedicate their time to me. It's only right that I do the same for others.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Fulfillment Passion Societal Pressures Values Experience Inspiration Opportunity Struggle Simplicity Individualism Self-Reflection Instincts Transitions Doubt Support & Encouragement

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

TAGS:

art, at risk, classroom, club, education, environment, give back, immigrant, opportunity, path, relationships, respect, risk, school, struggle, students, teacher, teaching, teenager, trust

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Growing up, she went to schools that were among the worst in the nation.
  • Was raised by a single mother who immigrated from Guatemala and didn't speak much English.
  • Spent her teenage years doing things she shouldn't have been doing, and getting away with them because her mother worked full-time.
  • Finally decided to start getting involved; joined as many clubs as she could, one of which was the Future Teachers Club.
  • One of the club advisors saw something in her, introduced her to the Golden Apple Foundation; she became one of their Scholars, started on her path to teaching.
  • Acknowledges that she was one of the lucky few that turned their lives around, and she chalks that up to her teachers.
  • Says that although she has a master's degrees and multiple awards, as a preschool teacher, she still has issues being taken seriously.
  • Co-founder of SwaziKids International, which provides school supplies to students in Swaziland.

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