Jorge is deeply engaged at St. Anne’s Bogen Family Early Learning Center, where his son Emmanuel, age 5, is enrolled. With his wife, Maria, Jorge attended the 10-session Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) parenting program and four-session social-emotional workshops. Staff noticed the interested dad who asked questions and contributed to the discussion. Says one staff member, “He always tells us, ‘I learned something new today. I am learning for Emmanuel.’”
Even though he has two older, successful children, Jorge is still eager to become a better parent. Through St. Anne’s workshops, Jorge has improved his listening skills and patience. “I make deposits in my child’s relationship bank by praising positive behavior and spending quality time with Emmanuel,” says Jorge. “My child will always remember these things.”
When Emmanuel entered the Early Learning Center, he was sometimes aggressive with other children and did not socialize. Now, Jorge sees a big improvement in Emmanuel’s language skills and behavior. “The staff are very knowledgeable and have supported Emmanuel’s education and behavior,” Jorge says.
One way Jorge expresses his appreciation to the staff is by volunteering in the center with his wife. “The teachers have a lot of work,” he explains. “They have a very big responsibility to educate the children, and I can help them keep their classrooms clean. Besides, my participation is also teaching Emmanuel that it is a good thing to be helpful to others.”
The impact of Jorge and Maria’s committed parenting is evident in their children’s success. Their daughter, Marilyn, is majoring in human biology at UC Santa Cruz. Their older son, Jorge Jr., just graduated from the rigorous Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and plans to attend Santa Monica College to begin studying criminology.
Jorge is so enthusiastic about St. Anne’s Bogen Family Center that he recommends it to others. At Silver Lake’s Trattoria Farfalla, where he has worked as a cook for 26 years, Jorge is encouraging his coworker to enroll his 3-year-old. “It is the best program I have ever known for children,” says Jorge. When his coworker wanted to know more about Jorge’s involvement at the center, Jorge showed him flyers, agendas, handouts and certificates of completion for workshops.
Jorge’s commitment and enthusiastic participation earned him well-deserved Father of the Year honors from the Early Learning Center.