Alta Vista's Ms. Cleveland Wins Outstanding Program Participant Award
Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas awarded Maria Cristina Cleveland, Alta Vista’s 1stGrade Bilingual Teacher, as their Outstanding Program Participant at its Annual Award of Excellence Banquet held in January.
The Annual Awards of Excellence event honors members of the Heart of Texas region who add value to its communities and have both contributed to and benefited from the services provided by the Workforce Solutions Centers, the Workforce Development Board, and partners throughout the region.
Maria Cleveland was born in Mexico City and practiced as a Pediatrician. She married a U.S. citizen, and moved to the United States.Unfortunately, Maria’s credentials were not recognized in the United States.
Maria’s alternate aspirations to become a teacher had now become an option. With the support and encouragement of her mother, Maria sought after the Region 12 Education Service Center Teacher Certification Program. It was there where she learned of the WIA Dislocated Worker program.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a federally funded program for eligible participants to increase job opportunities and earnings potential, occupational skills and overcome barriers to employment. The program can include skills upgrading and retraining, assistance with developing a career plan, career counseling, resume assistance, assistance with job placement, occupational skills training, job readiness training, adult education and literacy assistance and limited supportive services.
In February of 2012 she was accepted into the WIA Program as a Dislocated Worker, and within the same month, started the Teaching Certificate Program at Region 12 Education Service Center.
Maria has since then, completed the teacher program early with a 3.88 GPA which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that she did so with four year old twins at home. She received her Teaching Certificate in August of 2012 and is employed by Waco ISD at Alta Vista Elementary as a 1st Grade Bilingual Teacher.
“I was really surprised,” Ms. Cleveland recalls. “I have only been in America for four years.I took two years of English in Mexico in college but I basically had to relearn the English language while going to school.”
The ELL Department applauds Ms. Cleveland’s accomplishments and echoes the sentiments expressed by the Workforce Solutions’ award.