MEET OUR FACILITATORS
Esmeralda Muñoz Ramos
Years ago, Partners for Peace helped Esmeralda Muñoz Ramos to become a better parent to her strong willed child. She started as a parent taking the parent courses and was then given the opportunity to help other parents in her community to learn these valuable skills by becoming a Facilitator herself. “My family is a living testament that they work. What a great opportunity given to us free of charge. We are so fortunate,” she shared.
According to Esmeralda, parents can expect to see positive changes in their children's behavior and in their own behavior. There is a group of other parents that can relate to the difficulties of raising a strong-willed child.
“I love knowing that families who take the parent courses will gain valuable skills that will make their lives better,” she added.
MEET OUR FACILITATORS
Myrna Herrera and Brian Wood
Husband and wife team, Myrna Herrera and Brian Wood, are star facilitators for Partners For Peace. They are certified to train in Loving Solutions Program, the Parent Project Program, but it is the Strengthening Families Program that keeps them both really busy with families and youth alike. Brian joined Myrna in this venture in 2012 when he found the workshops to be beneficial to the families involved. He was inspired to get his certifications and that’s how this amazing duo began.
“I really hope that as the concept of parenting classes becomes part of our culture, that all families take advantage of this opportunity to have evidence based tools in their parenting tool box,” said Myrna.
“We are a blended family with a total of three adult children: my daughter and son, and Brian’s son. They all have college degrees and contribute to society with their work. We both understand the challenges of raising children, and specially teenagers in a different way and time than we were raised, and me being a Mexican national, and raising biracial, bicultural children.”
Myrna came to P4P in 2010 when Kathy Bauer became the Executive Director. They found Strengthening Families Program to be beneficial to parents and youth because it allows time for free expression without fear or conflict.
Most classes have been offered at night to make it easier for families to commit, thus Brian became a bit concerned for Myrna’s safety being out late at night. As a result, he began to attend classes with her and to assist her and other facilitators and the families while he was there. He got his trainer certificate in 2012 and they have been teaching together since.
“The team pulled him in as he had already done much to be part of the family,” Myrna said. “His calm and male tech engineer-focus demeanor was an asset to the teen aspect of the program, especially for those who might lack a male figure at home.”
For Myrna, becoming a facilitator became a passion. She remembers her mom’s frustration when she could not handle a rebellious child and said ‘there is no school for parenting!’ She took that to heart later on in her life by becoming a Parent Educator. Her husband Brian is a Web Developer. For them, helping families and youth is a calling.
As they facilitate from home via zoom, they support each other in the three sessions. The Spanish-speaking parents really enjoy Brian’s effort with the language, and, in general, admit Myrna, “having us teaching as a couple gives them a window of who we are as people, since they have to share their family situation with us - I think it improves the rapport process.”
Partners For Peace is proud to have facilitators who lead with professionalism and heart.
MEET OUR FACILITATORS
A few years ago, Margarita Cervantez was having some challenges with her children and that’s how a friend referred her to Partners For Peace. She took the Loving Solutions® course and she was so inspired that she went on to sign up for the Parent Project® right after.
“The first thing I learned was it was not just my kids that needed to change,” Margarita said. “My parenting style was not what I had thought; my intentions were good, but my actions were not.”
It was in these classes that she realized two things that had changed her for the better. She realized that she needed to make changes to her expectations for her young children, thus had to adjust her own behavior. The second teaching moment was to realize the need for a support system. For the first time, she was able to open up to others about her own issues and struggles as a single parent trying to raise her children. She felt supported and understood. So naturally, she wanted to pay it forward and become a certified facilitator herself and went through the 40-hour training. She is now certified to teach both courses.
“For me, teaching these classes is a constant reminder of the things I should be doing as a parent and the things to try and avoid,” she shared. “I tell them in the class we will learn positive ways to discipline kids that are proven to be effective.”
Margarita is one more reason why Partners For Peace is such a success. Thank you for all you do and for sharing your story to add that extra ingredient of relatability with our families.