Allow us to introduce you to our owners, Luis and Angela Gonzalez. Luis and Angela have three young children to whom they teach Spanish and English. While traveling to Mexico last year to visit family, they discovered that they needed to do more to encourage fluency for their little ones. While researching Spanish classes available in Lincoln, they found that the type of learning environment they were looking for did not exist and so they set out to create it.
Luis is a native Spanish speaker and a successful entrepreneur who will bring extensive business acumen to management of the school.
Angela will serve as director of Aventuras. She is passionate about doing her part to make the world a welcoming and united place and envisions Aventuras as a step in that direction. Angela brings a wealth of education and experience which will aid in the administration of our program. She has a BA in International Studies and French from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is completing an MA in Critical and Creative Thinking from the University of Nebraska – Omaha with a concentration in International Migration, Development and Citizenship. She has completed coursework in Child, Youth and Family Studies including International Family Studies. Angela spent two years instructing English language learners. She spent four years as a Project Coordinator administering grant funded non-profit programs for new Americans and has spent the last six years as a Research Administrator at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Karina Saavedra-Mendez is the Lead Teacher for our morning preschool class and has been teaching with Aventuras since opening day. Maestra Karina is an engaging educator and a pleasure to work with. Karina Saavedra-Mendez is from Usulután, El Salvador and has been living in Lincoln for 20 years. Her family consists of her husband William, three sons and one daughter-in-law, Axel, 23, and his wife, Kiera, 23, (who live in Overland Park, Kansas) Fabricio, 22 (who lives in Lincoln), and the youngest, Thiago, who is 3. Her family speaks both English and Spanish at home, and she believes that it is very important for children to be bilingual, because it opens up new opportunities for them as they become older.
Before becoming a teacher at Aventuras, Karina was a Health Tech for Lincoln Public Schools for 13 years and worked at Clinton Elementary where she still substitutes when she can. She is also a Spanish interpreter at LPS and just entered into her 16th year in that line of work. For the past 15 years, during tax season she has worked at H&R Block as a Tax Specialist, and it is something that she looks forward to every year.
Karina volunteers at her church teaching Sunday school to preschool aged children and has been doing so for around 8 years. In her free time she enjoys going to church and participating in church activities and also going to and finding new coffee places around Lincoln to relax. She is excited to be on this journey with you and your children at Aventuras!
We would like to introduce Ms. Leslie Estrada! She has been working with us since Summer 2019 and has taken on a Lead Teacher position this Fall. Leslie has completed significant coursework in child development and is a very bright and kindhearted individual. Her love for children has led her to aspire to be a pediatrician. Let’s get to know her in her own words:
I am originally from the State of Mexico, Mexico and I have been living in Nebraska for 10 years in a small town called Newman Grove. My family consists of my parents and my two younger sisters. When I am home, I speak mostly in Spanish. This allows me to use my Spanish since I communicate in English most of the time.
I am a pre-Med student at the University of Nebraska and will be graduating this December, 2019 with a double major in Biology and Sociology. I enjoy working with children and in the future, I would like to do so by going into a health career focusing on pediatrics. I have been working for 1.5 years as a research assistant at the Nebraska Center of Virology at UNL.
In my free time I enjoy doing puzzles with my father and younger sister. I also enjoy going on walks around Lincoln and going to the movies with my sister.
We would like to introduce you to Ms. Briseyda Ceballos! She is working with Aventuras as a Lead Teacher and we are so happy to welcome her aboard. Her credentials, professionalism and passion for education and the Spanish language make her a great fit for our program. Learn more about her here, in her own words:
I was born in Michoacán, Mexico and have lived in Nebraska for about 14 years. I’ve lived in Lincoln for two years now and plan to graduate from UNL with a double major in Spanish and Child, Youth, and Family Science in May 2020.
My family lives in Grand Island. As a child I spoke only Spanish until the age of 7 and now as an adult, most of my communication involving immediate and extended family relies on Spanish. While maintaining the language was not an activity I had to put effort into growing up, due to being fully immersed in the culture and using it on a daily basis, it’s become something that I now consider a necessity. My short-term language goals are always focused on increasing vocabulary (including knowledge of regional differences) to the highest extent, while my long-term goals are focused on being able to do every aspect of my future career in both languages. Academically and professionally, I am interested in child and adult education, literature/linguistics in Spanish, and research focused on family dynamics in ever changing social contexts.
I volunteered during a semester in SCC’s Adult Literacy Program where I first realized how much I enjoyed teaching. My ideal career post-graduation would consist of education and community involvement.