Staff Spotlight: Abril Coronel, Parent Educator, Family SPOT Resource Center

When Abril Coronel, from Mexico, married her husband, she became a resident of the U.S. In 2009, she earned her B.A. from ASU, and also gave birth to their daughter Annika.

"Last year, we took a family trip to San Carlos, Mexico," Abril recounts. "On our way back, we were asked at a checkpoint if we were American citizens. My husband responded that we had two U.S. citizens and one legal resident." Daughter Annika, now six years old, was confused by the distinction and concerned that without citizenship, her mother might need to move back to Mexico. The Refugee Focus staff helped Abril complete the naturalization paperwork and Annika helped her study for the citizenship test.

"I passed the test and had the oath ceremony (on June 5, 2015)," says Abril. Annika exclaimed, "Mom, you are an American citizen now and we don't have to move back to Mexico!"

Abril is a Parent Educator with Family SPOT in the Southeast Region. She teaches parenting classes and oversees programs that equip families with resources so children are school ready. "I believe that by teaching new skills to families about early childhood development, I am making a difference in the lives of parents and children," Abril notes. "I am proud that I have been able to influence people in English and Spanish speaking communities. It gives me a great sense of joy to know that participants are leaving our classes better equipped to face the everyday challenges that come with being a parent."

Abril is connected with Desert Cross, Tempe and First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mesa.