Enroll in early childhood education and care program

A bilingual fellowship created by three local childcare professionals is opening registration for a second cohort on Jan. 23.

The Exceptional Bilingual Leadership Program, created by Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, Obioma Martin and Aliya Johnson-Roberts, completed its pilot program in December and is accepting applications for a 12-week program. Targeted for personal growth of individuals involved in early childhood education and care, the program provides new tools, innovative strategizing techniques, opportunities for sharing and building bonds with like-minded individuals who have chosen to invest in their personal and professional development.

Creators say the program breaks barriers and offers a safe space to build confidence, trust, commitment and creativity. 

The program aims to reach child care providers and teachers who are seeking to grow and expand personally and professionally with the ultimate goal of moving the needle toward quality child care and funding for all.

The three creators took their shared experiences in the childcare profession and hope to inspire others to exceed expectations and pursue leadership roles. 

“We got tired of waiting for an invitation to sit at the table, so we decided to create our own table, inviting others to join us,” said co-founder Alvarado-Rodriguez, who founded both Children’s Playhouse centers in South Philly’s Newbold and Whitman neighborhoods.

Alvarado-Rodriquez is also the owner of Innovative Educational Consulting Services and the founder of Latinos Educando Juntos, a nonprofit that supports small business owners in the Latinx community.

Martin is the CEO of OMAX Institute the center for Early Education, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, certified transformational facilitator, seven-time bestselling author and founder of BREATH House for battered women. Johnson-Roberts is the executive director and owner of two early childhood centers in Northeast Philadelphia and a business consultant who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

All three women are graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Entrepreneurship Program who know the value of leadership and collaboration. They have formed this alliance, bringing their vast business experiences together to lift others up and improve early childhood education for all.

“We all had barriers to conquer as we launched our careers,” Alvarado-Rodriguez said. “One was the lack of Black and brown role models to serve as our inspiration. We are providing that representation now for women who desire to grow and expand their opportunities for success. We are overwhelmed with pride that our first class completed their experience with a sense of hope and a positive outlook for their future.”

To learn more and enroll in the next session, visit https://latinoseducandojuntos.org/eblf/ or e-mail omaxinstitute@gmail.com.