Mother's Open Letter to LOFT

Dear LOFT,

My name is Angela Hernandez, and I am the mother of Susan Woda-Hernandez. Susan was a student in the Learning How to Code Academy at Pasadena City College, Summer 2015. I had the privilege of observing the class from 7/13-7/17/2015 which was led by Ms. Veronica Hernandez and Ms. Liset Herandez, with the supervision of Mr. Alberto Avalos. I will use this space to address what I was able to observe in the course which lasted all week.

It gave me great pride to see that to young Hispanic ladies were going to be the instructors of the course, Learning How to Code in Pasadena Community College (PCC) from July 13 to July 17, 2015. I have noticed that this an area in which the majority of instructors are not women and the few that are the exception are not Hispanic. Ms. Veronica Hernandez and Ms. Liset Hernandez were both friendly with the students, the administration, and with me as a mother. They both interacted with me in a professional and respectful manner, the way they would with the administration. The most memorable was the fact that they both interacted with me in Spanish.

They had planned the five day course beforehand with a tight schedule in which they were able to keep the students active at every minute. The students did not waste one minute of their time. The students all cruised from one activity to the other. All the students worked on their computers, on the board, and they read from a folder that the instructors had prepared for each student that had the everyday schedules, the activities the students will partake, and they had the vocabulary that they would use for each activity. I was able to observe that all the students would use the folders; provided to them by Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset the first day of class, as reference. 

Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset were both great leaders; due to the fact that they were able to lead the students and their assistants with a lot of respect and clarity. As a result, all the students would follow the orders given by Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset with great pleasure.

The instructors had a clear and effective way of explaining the course in order for all the students to comprehend it. However, if for any reason one of the students did not understand, they would quickly explain it once again with great patience. Due to the fact that the instructors would explain the course so well, all the students were extremely busy working on the lessons they had to finish. Not one student was ever in trouble due to disciplinary reasons, for being bored or because they did not understand the material.

Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset were well aware of the importance that each student be on the same section of the course on a specific time, and if for any reason any student fell behind they would individually work with each student in order to catch them up with all the other students.

At the end of each lesson, they would review with the students what they had learned for that day. The instructors gave each student a chance to demonstrate what they learned that day and if one student could not remember, then another student would jump in and help.

The instructors also brought in professionals from around the area who they had been learning about. Each professional would motivate the students to continue with their education and they would share their life experiences that has allowed them to be successful in their professional lives.

The manner in which they organized the presentations at the end of the week was excellent! Each student had the opportunity to work with another classmate which they had not work with before. It was clear the way that each student related with one another in a respectable and professional manner in order to present what the instructors had assigned. It was really encouraging that the families, friends, instructors, and administration were able to see the project each student worked on, ask questions, and give their own comment. Every single presenter seemed real proud of themselves and what they had accomplished because the more they participated the more experience they got, as they all looked very proud, satisfied, and confident of themselves.

The awards ceremony were really empowering because Mr. Alberto Avalos indicated to each student that they were all capable of continuing practicing what they had learned with the information that Mr. Avalos would later provide.

Again, the awards ceremony were really memorable due to the fact the parents were able to take pictures with their daughters and sons, the instructors Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset, and with Mr. Avalos. The students were extremely glad because they not only receive one certificate from LOFT, but they also received a certificate from Pasadena City College.

It was an extremely good idea that they allowed for photographs to be taken of the students, instructors, the instructor’s assistants, and the administration because the students were able to take with them memories of their classmates and with those who made the academy possible.

The Academy Learning How to Code held in Pasadena City College which was led by the LOFT team was exceptional. The instructors Ms. Veronica were both outstanding! My only wish is that other students have the privilege of being instructed, motivated, and inspired by Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset. It is thanks to the guidance Mr. Avalos provides his instructors with and Mr. Antonio Tijerino’s Hispanic Heritage Foundation that many Hispanic adolescents are able to be inspired to grow academically and feel a sense of pride when helping out their communities.

I give you a million thanks for having inspired my daughter Susan while she was learning to code, for the academic guidance she received, and for motivating her to explore the field of science which motivates her the same way technology does. Susan really admires and appreciates every bit of help this foundation has provided and for everything you all do for our community. She tells me that when she grows up she wants to be just like Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset. Thank you Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset for having decided to teach code to many adolescents and to Mr. Avalos for being an excellent supervisor. I would also like to thank Mr. Antonio Tijerino and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation for the initiative of allowing Hispanic adolescents to progress academically while becoming leaders of our communities. Mr. Antonio Tijerino, Thank you so much for selecting Ms. Veronica and Ms. Liset who are both Hispanic, extremely intelligent, bilingual, well prepared, and young enough to teach a code course at Pasadena Community College.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion of what I observed while attending the course Learning How to Code Academy at Pasadena Community College 2015 led by an excellent group of individuals.

Sincerely,

Angela Hernandez