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“Celebrating Diversity at Kids’ Country”

Written By: Executive Director, Ann Tancioco


(Click the image to watch their story on our Youtube channel)

        Twenty years ago, Kids’ Country had a challenging time recruiting qualified teachers for our programs. With the boom that began around 1995, many employees were flocking to higher paid jobs in the tech industry leaving child care programs with a limited hiring pool.

        The Executive Director at that time, Len Heid along with the Board of Directors thought outside of the box to solve the staffing crisis. They looked to the Philippines to recruit qualified educators with English-speaking skills to bring to the United States. Filipino employees of Kids’ Country spread the word in the Philippines that the organization was holding interviews for qualified candidates. Len and Eileen Middlebrooks at the time traveled to the Philippines to interview over a hundred candidates and made offers to 8 individuals who eventually immigrated here to the United States after their visas were processed and approved.

        The transition to a new country is never an easy journey as these individuals would attest. They have carried not only their dreams but the hope of their families to find their own American Dream here in the United States. They have sacrificed distance from their families and friends to build their own communities and home away from home. Of those 8 initial employees, four have remained with Kids’ Country: Rowena Alegre, Emma Amoranto, Ian Garcia and Faye Ponferrada, all who currently hold leadership positions. The investment made to recruit out of country has given Kids’ Country such a breadth of value not only in their leadership, shared culture, commitment and dedication to the organization but more importantly their service to their colleagues, children and families they interact with.

        Through this endeavor, Kids’ Country celebrates the beauty diversity brings to the organization along with the children, families and employees who have benefited and continue to benefit from the experience. With much gratitude, we congratulate Mrs. Rowena, Mrs. Emma, Mr. Ian and Mrs. Faye on 20 years with Kids’ Country!

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Kids' Country supports a child's natural curiosity and love of learning in a safe and inspired environment where they can discover their passions and achieve great things.