Mrs. Carmen Gloria Santiago Cintron was a early childhood educator in Kissimmee, Florida from 1998 to 2020. She is also my mother. While popular culture at the time often portrayed middle class working parents complaining or lamenting of their day at work, my mother would fill the air around the dinner table with wonderful stories about her students accomplishments, like how a boy who began in her classroom arriving from a troubled and broken home and whom often would self isolate and seldom participate in the classroom, became at the end of the semester a star among his peers. She was proud on how he discovered a passion for reading and in that new thirst he transformed his new found passion into a tool for better socialization and positive escape from the troubles of home. This seemingly small yet profound change gave hope and thus the possibility of better days ahead.
The purpose of this fund is to enable and help facilitate young adults who wish to pursue a career as an educator. Helping young minds discover their curiosity while lessening the financial burden for becoming an educator in what is a critical societal pillar. Empowering those who pursue a career in early childhood education ensures that children become the adults and proactive citizens we all aspire to have. Those who have planted the seeds, guided us, and open our thoughts and minds to new possibilities are often educators. Help them to reach their goals so that our children can reach theirs.