Dalila's Study Abroad Trip in Spain

Take me to Madrid, Spain!

Here's all about me and my aspirations! 

I am Dalila Méndez, a future educator who attends Brooklyn College and is majoring in Elementary Education Grades 1-6 with a Bilingual extension. I am 23 years old and I enjoy spending time; bicycling, cooking, dancing, reading and practicing yoga. I come from parents whose places of origins have deep roots in the African and Latino diasporas. I have become so proud of this as I have entered my college career and learned more about my culture’s histories. It has impacted me to become an activist, a bilingual educator, and a yearning to learn more about a history that was left out of my K-12 studies. I am working on becoming a balanced bilingual, so that I can help other Latino students become emergent bilinguals.

My career goals extend to first obtaining my B.A. this Fall in Elementary Education with a Bilingual Extension. Achieving this degree will give me the opportunity to become an Elementary School teacher. I aim to guide young children in bilingual programs in my community. I feel it is my duty as a Puerto Rican woman to help urban bilingual education programs grow into outlets where children can gain the skills to become positive, progressive, critical thinkers. Regardless of a child’s background or socioeconomic status, they are entitled to gain a promising, strong educational foundation that will inspire them to acquire a love for school. It is extremely important that all children, especially underrepresented children, to see a role model they can relate to culturally.

While I attend Brooklyn College full time, I have worked as a waitress and as an Assistant Teacher/Spanish Teacher in a Preschool classroom. I have been the recipient of the Latino Award and the The Emil L. & Suzanne Sullivan Battaglia Memorial Scholarship, awarded to an Education major who has a commitment to teaching English as a Second Language. Aside from these awards from Brooklyn College, I am also a 2014 scholarship recipient from The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women-NY Chapter and a 2015 recipient of the scholarship award from Comitè Noviembre . I currently am an English Instructor/mentor preparing middle school students to pass the Specialized High School test and a student teacher of a fourth grade dual language classroom. I am a volunteer for the Pajama Program, where I help spread literacy and work with students who attend Title I schools at their program site and children at the Administration for Children’s Service (ACS). I strongly believe in the activism of social justice and aim to create an increased awareness of the education gap many students should not have to face. After earning my B.A., I will study abroad in Madrid, Spain to study the Spanish language. Fall 2016 I will begin to work towards my Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center or in Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia, Teacher’s College. My long term goal is to attain my Ph.D. in Urban Education and to become a professor, to educate students like myself into the world of academia.

Why am I going to Madrid? 

I am studying in Spain to improve my Spanish and truly become a balanced bilingual so that I can provide guidance to many students who enter the public school system only speaking Spanish. I felt it necessary to live in a Spanish speaking country for a few months before I took the exam to be certified to teach in bilingual education. Studies have proven that children will benefit more from a bilingual education rather than an ESL program. 

Being able to study abroad has always been a dream, being that I am a first generation student. My mother has pushed for me to attain my degree and to value education so that I can have a successful future. Growing up I moved often, and have lived in shelters. Although, my mom always provided me with the best nurture and because of her I have been able to keep moving forward as a responsible and productive adult. I have been a survivor of assault and rape from a stranger who broke into my home, in my third year of college, Click here to read my SPEAKING OUT blog on this matter But none of these unfortunate events have stopped my drive towards making a change in the world for a better. I am not afraid to travel and I am not afraid to learn and inspire others that they too can not fall victim to the viscous cycle of poverty. This experience will allow me to show other survivors that they too can move forward in their journey's of changing the world for the better. It will allow me to help the children of NYC become emergent bilinguals, especially those of low SES to have a chance to begin to build their empire in the United States. As a brown woman, as a daugter of a migrant, there were many labels given to me such as at risk, needy, but I will change these deficit theories of any child of a certain group being marginalized. Everyone deserves an equal education regardless of their background, please help me in my journey to gain this for our brothers and sisters of world! 

I will be studying abroad January 8th-April 9th, please donate to help me pay for my airline ticket, my tuition, and my books. 


All of your help is greatly appreciated! 

Much love and thanks in advance xoxo 


p.s. Offline donations via VENMO, chase quickpay and cash are more than welcome.

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Dalila Mendez
Brooklyn, NY

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