Mesa teacher found her passion for education at EVIT

Working in education, Blanca got her start at EVIT
Posted on 03/23/2022
Blanca built her foundation with training at EVIT, now works in education

When Blanca Zamora-Yanez enrolled at EVIT in 2009, she was looking for training that would prepare her for the “real world” and a career right out of high school. What she found in the Early Childhood Education program was much more: her own passion to teach.

The Early Childhood Education program shares space at the East Valley Institute of Technology’s Main Campus with Head Start, a child-care that also serves as a lab where EVIT students get the opportunity to work with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Being in the Head Start classroom made me fall in love with education,” Zamora-Yanez said. “I wanted to be the teacher I didn’t have growing up, a teacher of color, and a role model for my students.”

Thirteen years later, Zamora-Yanez is a fourth-grade teacher at Mesa’s Robson Elementary School. “I love making connections with my students,” she said. “Teaching them to be good human beings is my number one goal.”

Early Childhood Education is one of over 40 career training programs EVIT offers for East Valley high school students and adults at two central campuses in Mesa and a branch campus at Apache Junction High School.

After completing her EVIT training in 2011, Zamora-Yanez worked as an early childhood teacher at Bridges preschool. But her experience at EVIT had not only sparked a passion for teaching – but also a desire to learn more. So she also went on to Mesa Community College where she earned two associate degrees. From there, she transferred to Arizona State University.

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I went on and graduated with my bachelor's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in bilingual education and English as a Second Language,” she said. “I also have my master's degree in curriculum instruction with an emphasis in gifted education.”

Having been an English language learner herself as a child, Zamora-Yanez knew how challenging it can be to learn a new language and felt her experience could help others. “I wanted to be the teacher who understood my students on a deeper level,” she said.

Her interest in gifted education was prompted by a first-grader she met six years ago. “I was enlightened by how well he interacted with me and his knowledge retention. I immediately knew he was gifted,” she said. “That moment impacted me to work more with gifted ELL students. Shortly after, I pursued my master’s degree in curriculum instruction with an emphasis in gifted education.”

While she loves teaching fourth-graders at Robson Elementary, she wants to eventually teach adult students.

“I want to be able to teach parents from the community how they can support their children in school and outside of school, technology skills, employability skills, and other important skills that will benefit their families,” she said.

Zamora-Yanez has come a long way since her days at EVIT, but she said she still uses all of the skills she learned there.

“EVIT prepares you for success. They open the door to many different opportunities,” she said. “EVIT changed my life completely. I honestly wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn't for EVIT.”

EVIT students have a 98 percent high school graduation rate, two out of three go on to college and 94 percent are in jobs related to their training, college or the military within a year of completing their program.

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nrollment for 2022-23 is under way. Start the process at www.evit.com/enroll.

Blanca’s Career Path:

  • Completed EVIT Early Childhood Education program in 2011
  • Worked as an Early Childhood teacher at Bridges preschool
  • Earned two associate degrees from Mesa Community College
  • Earned bachelor’s & master’s degrees from Arizona State University
  • Currently, fourth-grade teacher at Mesa’s Robson Elementary School
  • Future plans: Teach adult education

Get started on a career while in high school:

How to enroll in high school programs at EVIT:

  • Complete and submit application online at www.evit.com/enroll
  • Parents/legal guardians of new students will need an active email account to access and use the online registration system
  • Upload attendance record, discipline record, current unofficial transcripts and proof of immunizations
  • Admissions office will inform students via email once application is approved or if more information is needed
  • EVIT is for all high school students – public, charter, private or home-schooled – who reside in one of 11 East Valley school districts: Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe
  • More information: Call (480) 461-4108

How to enroll in adult programs at EVIT:

  • Schedule appointment to meet with an advisor by calling (480) 461-4110
  • Complete online application form at www.evit.com/enroll
  • Tuition rates vary by program. Apply for financial aid by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov and using school code 035723
  • Send questions about financial aid to adultfinanci[email protected]
  • More information: Call (480) 461-4110