EDCOE Team Member Spotlight - Jesus Cordova, Early Learning and Family Support, Together We Grow Bilingual Family Specialist
15:00 PM - June 22, 2020
Interview with Jesus Cordova:
Briefly describe your background (where you grew up, family, why you came to work for EDCOE).
I grew up in Shafter California in the Central Valley. My parents are from Tamazula and Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico. My siblings and I are first generation born in the United States. My father was a farm worker who valued education and believed that it was our way out of poverty. When my brothers and I were not in school we were working out in the fields. This taught us to work hard, be dedicated, and use our work ethic in school. All three of us earned college degrees; Stanford, UC Santa Cruz/San Francisco State, Cal State Bakersfield. My father was right, education was our way out of poverty. For the last 20 years I have served in education, as a Probation Liaison, Child Protective Services Differential Response Family Advocate, and as a Healthy Start Family Resource Center Program Coordinator. I came to work for EDCOE because its organization that believes that every child has the right to a quality education regardless of their social and economic status, ethnicity, or gender, and invests in and believes in programs that remove barriers from academic success.
What is your department, title, primary work location, and how long have you worked for EDCOE?
- Department, title: Early Learning and Family Support, Together We Grow Bilingual Family Specialist
- Primary Location: EDCOE Main Campus Building I
- I started working at EDCOE in August 2016
Describe how your role helps support programs/schools/students directly or indirectly.
As a Family Specialist, I work in partnership with El Dorado County Library, and Public Health in a program called Community Hubs. My role is to provide parent support, child development information, play groups, and implement the Ages & Stages Questionnaire. The Ages & Stages questionnaire helps parents and caregivers understand their child’s development. It also identifies children developing on-schedule, children who would benefit from practice, support in specific areas, and it identifies children at risk for developmental delays who should be referred for further evaluation. We work closely with the Infant Development Program, Alta Regional, Infant Parent Center and school districts to provide services.
What are you and your team doing to support education in El Dorado County during the COVID-19 facility closures?
We have partnered with the Placer Food bank and First 5 to establish multiple food distribution sites throughout the county. For example, on June 10th, 175 families received food boxes in Pollock Pines. Camino, I was able to partner with Penny Smart from Public Health, Susie Davies from MORE, and Jorge Lupercio from Placer Food Bank to establish the Camino Food Project. This project allows us to provide food resources to families that live in Cedar Grove Mobile Home Park. We are also partnering with the Camino school district. Dusty Botting and Janice Sargent are teachers that volunteer weekly to deliver food. We are now working on a family engagement/tutoring program to provide parent support and help students meet their educational needs.
We have also received a substantial donation for diapers from Placer Foodbank and First 5. We are currently planning diaper/food distributions events at each Community Hub; Placerville Library, Cameron Park Library, El Dorado Hills Library, Georgetown Library, and South Lake Tahoe Library.
Our libraries are closed so we have been innovative in continuing to provide Play Groups for families during this difficult time by using Zoom. During our play groups, families connect, children practice social skills, and caregivers receive child development information.
What do you most appreciate about your department/team?
Everyone in our team is passionate about working with children, and underserved communities in our county.
What is your proudest moment at EDCOE? Why?
My proudest moment at EDCOE was being selected to facilitate the Western Slope Collaborative with my amazing team; Alice Alk from First 5, Penny Smart and Jessica Mahnken from Public Health. The purpose of the Western Slope Collaborative is to increase access to services for expectant parents and families with children birth through eighteen years of age on the Western Slope by bringing together partners to learn about other agencies, promote partner services and increase collaborative service delivery.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
On my spare time I enjoy running with my friends, attending concerts with my wife (U2, Metallica Dave Matthews Band, and The Police), listening to music, painting and I also enjoy watching movies.
What is something many people may not know about you?
I met my wife Christina in High School chemistry class. This July we will be celebrating 20 years of marriage.
If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Pablo Picasso. He recreated, changed art by pushing limitations. Picasso stated “Action is the foundational key to all success.” If we want to bring change to underserved communities we must act to succeed.
From supervisor, Elizabeth Blakemore, Director, Early Learning and Family Support
Jesus brings commitment, resourcefulness and heart to our Community Hubs Team. Whether he’s facilitating a parent-child play group, supporting a family to access needed resources or partnering with community agencies, Jesus demonstrates a dedication to families and to our community. He has a great sense of humor, a ready smile and is a valued member of the Building I squad. I am happy that other EDCOE team members will get to know more about his outstanding efforts on behalf of El Dorado County families.