Latina opens center to help students in Montebello
A new tutoring center will be inaugurated on July 13 in the city of Montebello. The institution that goes by the name Wiz Kid Tutor (Wizard Child Tutor) officially began receiving students a couple of weeks ago and has launched a summer preparation program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Maria Serpas has painted a tree in her center to represent her work and that of all the students who helped her water it and make it flourish. The roots symbolized the foundation provided by parents, ancestors, and the place of origin. The woman has invited all of her former students to the inauguration ceremony to put her handprints like leaves on the trees, symbolizing the fruit of her labor and their dedication.
Serpas, who always dreamed of opening her center, worked as a private tutor for almost 15 years, acquiring the necessary tools and experience to make it happen.
It was a long day, but very gratifying, Serpas recounted when sharing an anecdote: “I said 'I'm going to open my center at 30.' It didn't happen, but then I said 'okay, I'll open it at 35, maybe I need to learn more'. I do not pass. Now that I'm 40, it's a dream come true."
The guardian, who was a teenage mother, had many challenges. After graduating from high school, she intended to continue her career, but she had other priorities, such as taking care of her daughter. Years later she was able to resume her studies and it was then that she fell in love with education.
He began his career at East LA College and transitioned from finance to child development. She began tutoring at a non-profit organization, which allowed her to learn and gain the resources to become a top-level tutor.
After graduating with her associate's degree from ELAC in 2011, she took time off and returned to earn her bachelor's degree in 2017 from Cal State LA. He officially completed his Master's in Human Development with a focus in Leadership in Education and Human Services in December 2022 from Pacific Oaks College.
“The inspiration came from the pressure as a mother of having to help my daughter when she was faced with a challenge. Once I became a tutor and continued my education, I quickly discovered that there were many other parents who were struggling to help their children. The need for academic support is always present in our community,” said Serpas.
The tutor shared that with the name of the center she wanted to give a feeling of enthusiasm in learning.
“I wanted the kids to feel empowered. There is a magic behind learning and teaching and that is why I found the word magician. They become my wizards,” Serpas said.
Serpas, who offers her services to a wide range of students, affirms that she has had the honor of tutoring early childhood students from pre-kindergarten to adults over 70 years of age.
The now businesswoman said that older adults want to be in tune with what is happening today, which is why they ask that they be taught Spanish and what is necessary to navigate the digital world, especially programs such as Word, Excel and others. Computer programs.
Serpas stressed that the work he offers is in order to make education fun for students, through workshops he teaches parents how to better help their children, since he firmly believes that creating that growth mindset in children parents benefits the child equally.
During the workshops, Serpas enjoys getting to know the parents in depth, which is why he asks questions about their inner child and about the things they wish their parents would have helped them with. In this way, she teaches them how they can help their own children and be more attentive to what they need.
The director of Wiz Kid Tutor expressed the importance of encouraging the student and recognizing their challenges as well as their abilities.
“Child development really laid the foundation for understanding the psychology of a child and the motivation that is required and how to develop it. Outside of academics, it's important to me to make sure they get those awards for the work they're doing,” Serpas said.
Wiz Kid Tutor was born out of a desire to be able to help his community dream big and aspire to better things. Having had challenges herself, she made it her mission to provide the support she knew many needed.
“I think the reason I connect so well with my community is because I understand the struggles, I went through it and made it, now I intend to hold their hand and help them through it too,” Serpas said.
Former students keep in touch with her after they have graduated and continue to approach her for guidance. She is currently helping a student create her class schedule for college.
Serpas has partnered with the Center for Peace and Healing (CCNP), a community organization that offers programs that address the social, economic, and environmental damage created by institutional and structural racism and has conducted workshops that aim to teach parents how to better deal with their feelings through poetry and how to share what they learn with their children and family members at home.
In the future, he hopes to reach out to schools and let them know about his services, as well as solicit partnerships and provide additional services.
“This program is here to support not only parents and students, but also teachers. It is challenging for them to have so many children in one classroom, but a tutoring center that is in tune with them and the curriculum helps,” Serpas said. “It is important that the community knows that it is a relationship that is being built. It has three components: parents, teachers, and Wiz Kid Tutor. Together we create a triangle for that child and in no way will we allow that child to fail.”
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