In the small town in Mexico where Monica Narez lived, there was secondary education available but very few women attended due to the high expenses of registration, tuition, books, materials, and uniforms. When Monica moved to Napa Valley, she only had a sixth grade education. Seeking more from life, she found Napa Valley Even Start, where she enrolled in an extensive set of programs including ESL, Parenting, GED, and Vocational Education. In addition, Monica went to work in order to help her husband support her family and fulfill their dream of home ownership. Balancing school, work, and raising a family was not easy.
With all these commitments, she worked hard and faithfully attended the Adult Education program, putting in many hours. The more Monica worked the more her husband and children stood by her side giving all of the support they could. Along with the support from her family, she also had support from the school in a way that was helpful at home. The parenting education classes gave her the tools necessary to help her through these tough times.
After successfully completing Adult Education, Monica transferred to Napa Valley College and became a preschool teacher and supervisor of childcare providers in the Napa Valley Unified School District where she is a model employee. She is an inspiration to her employees as well as all of the mothers whose children she serves.
The children that she teaches not only receive a quality education but they also experience her warmth and love for them on a daily basis. Cynthia Meza, Monica's nominator, says that the children often “look for Monica as they enter the room, and sometimes fuss when it is time to go home.” For the mothers, it is a joy taking their children to Monica as she provides a positive, warm, and safe learning environment.
Currently, Monica is pursuing a college degree in Early Childhood Education. She is also a fantastic mother of three wonderful daughters and finds the time to attend their school events. In addition, Monica has put in a number of hours volunteering in her daughters' classrooms. Much like their mother, her girls are also interested in pursuing a college career and Monica encourages them in every way.