Whenever Anjelica Hernandez is looking for an activity for the 55 children at her Champions site at Alta Vista Elementary School in Los Gatos, Calif., she just thinks back to when she was a kid.
Recently, she sat her kids in a big circle and each told a knock-knock joke, with Anjelica kicking things off with some jokes she remembers from her childhood.
“Having fun while doing your job is important,” she said. “You don’t have to be serious all the time!”
She also likes to involve her kids in decisions about everyday activities, too. “I get ideas from them about their interests, and we come up with themes,” she said. “The older kids even help facilitate activities, and all of the kids look forward to getting involved.”
Her love of children and her passion for her job is clear to everyone she meets.
“Anjelica is a great site director, providing high-quality programming, customer service and school partnership consistently,” said Tish Calderon, Champions Area Manager. “Her team admires her for her leadership and coaching, and that she values them and trusts in their professional capabilities.”
Anjelica’s dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed: she was recently named a Champions Quality Achievement Award winner. This award is for employees who consistently implement and support the company mission and service values.
ONE: What do you love most about your job?
Hernandez: I love that every day is different. Working with my team, the teachers, makes everything cohesive. It shows with our parents as well.
ONE: What service value resonates most with you and why?
AH: I genuinely care about every single child in my classroom. I ask each one about his or her day, and I have a good relationship with families. All of our teachers and staff are a part of the lives of our families – I’m so proud of that. Last night all of the teachers went to a play that couple of our students are in. The parents really enjoyed seeing us there supporting them.
ONE: What advice would you give to your colleagues?
AH: Build a strong partnership with your school. Our school – the principal, the teachers, even the janitor – recommend us as their number 1 choice for before- and after-school care. That partnership and the partnership with parents is very important (Anjelica’s site is at capacity). Good communication with parents makes a huge difference. Parents talk to each other and refer their friends to the program.