Thinking back to my time as a BECA student, one of my favorite memories is the baseball championship we held.  The whole middle school came together for the competition!  I remember playing basketball at lunchtime with my closest friends, too, where we laughed and came together on the court.  But, most of all, I remember my teachers and the way they made me feel loved and supported.  Back then, I thought I’d study a career involving numbers, like accounting, because I really liked math and the way my teachers taught me math concepts.  Little did I know that my journey would take me down a different road, one where I would give back to the community that helped me so much!

I’ve come a long way from those days.  I truly feel like I have found my place and purpose, back where it all started.  With four years of experience as a BECA teacher and now starting  my fifth year as a Program Administrator, I’m thinking about the journey that led me here.  I became a teacher not just to share knowledge but to repay the opportunities BECA had given me.  I realized teaching isn’t just about the classroom; it’s a chance to leave a positive mark on my community.  It has been a challenging road of personal growth, since I was studying pedagogy and teaching at the same time. As I was finishing my career, I was teaching every period of every day, to complete my BECA work and finalize my teaching requirements for school at the same time.  That was a lot!  But, look at where I am now. 

As I move into this new phase of my career, I’m focusing on leading my fellow teachers.  This year, I want to support my staff at Santa Monica, ensuring they feel comfortable, heard, well-trained, and valued.  I hope to create an environment where they can flourish, just as I have been able to, by following the example of my previous BECA teachers.  BECA, for me, symbolizes a brighter future and opportunities for the kids we educate.  It’s the life lessons we learn inside and outside the classroom that create the most change.  My favorite memories at school now include watching my students dance to YouTube’s “Just Dance” videos.  This was their favorite brain break and a time where they could just let loose and be themselves, like me on the basketball court when I was younger.  I’m excited to empower my teachers and make a lasting impact on our students.  Thank you to everyone who supported me on the way!

Sol Palada
Program Administrator at Santa Mónica Bilingual School | + posts

Sol first came to BECA as a student and graduated from San Jerónimo Bilingual School.  Since then, she felt that she needed to give back to BECA and all the opportunities/ support they gave her.  Then, she started as a teacher and grew into the Program Administrator role leading our BECA teachers at Santa Monica Bilingual School. Her main goal now is to be able to help my team so they can give a high-quality English education to our community so they will have a brighter future.