Milagros Méndez was raised in Santo Domingo and came to New York City in 1963. Ms. Méndez completed a Master of Arts degree in Bilingual Education at The City College of New York and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Hunter College, as well as an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from Borough of Manhattan Community College. "The Bachelor of Science took nine years because I was working full time and could only go part time. It was complicated to get more credits." At the same time, Ms. Méndez studied for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Test until she passed it. "Constant studying," she remembers.
Ms. Méndez taught ESL and mathematics to sixth and seventh graders from 1988 until 1993. For most of her adult life, she worked as an accountant. That included keeping the books at the United Nations Department of Public Information and Publications for 15 years.
I ask Ms. Méndez how the Dominican experience has informed her work. "It was more obvious when I started teaching ESL because I completely identified with the children I was teaching. I came to the country in 1963. I was in the same position they were. When I was teaching them English, I understood what their needs were. I felt like I was going through it all over again. I could teach them better because of that, and help them to get to know the city and become familiar with the culture." Read More!