Meet Our Home Visitors

Estela Soto Escalante - Denise Louie Education Center

ESTELA SOTO ESCALANTE

When did you begin working at DLEC? July 2018

Home Visiting Background:

My background is working with children as a Preschool Teacher and during my time at DLEC I have been able to learn more.  I also have an Associates in Early Childhood Education. 

Passion, what do you love about your work?

My passion is supporting children and their families. I appreciate that as a Home Visitor I have the ability to support children learning alongside their whole environment and people surrounding them. I consider building and strengthening relations with parents a very important aspect of the work that I do as a Home Visitor. I am passionate about working together with parents to teach children how to be successful in life.

Gaby Grajales - Denise Louie Education Center

GABY GRAJALES

When did you begin working at DLEC? May  2019

Home Visiting Background:  

I started my Home Visitor journey  back in 2016 as an Early Learning Specialist for a ParentChild+ program. Two years later I became a Home Visitor for Early Head Start, and have served families across King County.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

The main thing that motivates me is getting to meet and learn from families. I love learning from families about their background, their culture, beliefs and traditions. I also love learning about the many different experiences parents had growing up and their approach to parenting. Last but not least, I really enjoy playing with kids!

Glenda Hernandez - Denise Louie Education Center

GLENDA HERNANDEZ

When did you begin working at DLEC? December 2018

Home Visiting Background:

I started school at UW Bothell, moved to Cascadia College and then moved to Bellevue College where I worked on my Early Education Associates degree. While being at school I would also be working part time in a Early Head start class room and also as a Home Visitor. 

Passion, what do you love about your work?

What I love about DLEC is our working team. Everyone is very supportive and kind to work with. Whenever we have questions or concerns there is always someone we can talk to.

GRACE BERNIER

When did you begin working at DLEC? August 2019

Home Visiting Background:

I completed my BA in History and Early Childhood Education. My previous experiences include being a Mentor with UCLA, and work in community based organizations such as Santa Barbara Food Bank.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love being a part of the journey in a child’s learning.

Hamdi Hassan - Denise Louie Education Center

HAMDI HASSAN

When did you begin working at DLEC? October 2019

Home Visiting Background:

I love to work with families and children. I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in American Ethnic Studies. Before DLEC, I have taken on roles that worked with children in K-12, as well as working in childcare.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I am passionate about education and working with communities and families. I love being a Home Visitor, because at DLEC we support the empowerment of families, while educating children to make a difference in their communities.

Denise Louie Education Center - Meet the Teachers

JACKSON MAUZÉ

When did you begin working at DLEC? May 2020

Home Visiting Background:

My experience home visiting began in the Dominican Republic where I worked as a Spanish Literacy Promoter with the Peace Corps. My role was to provide students, teachers and families with literacy activities and to produce resources for the local elementary school. It was humbling to support parents in engaging with their children’s education. Despite hardships such as food and job insecurity, families fervently believed in the value of formal education. When I moved to Seattle, working as an EHS Home Visitor with Denise Louie was seamless.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

My passion is helping others to achieve their goals and feel proud in their own skin. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and you can’t help but love them. That’s a belief I’ve held since I was a child myself, and as an adult it has fueled me to find socially conscious and purposeful work.

Jacqueline Gonzalez - Denise Louie Edcutaion Center

JACQUELINE GONZALEZ

When did you begin working at DLEC? July, 2016

Home Visiting Background: 

My experience begins as a long term nanny where I had the opportunity to interact with children and their families, and began partnering up with parents to create learning opportunities. I also worked at YouthCare as a Case Aid while I completed my BA in Psychology. When I graduated I accepted a Home Visitor position to continue serving families. After two years as a Home Visitor and the completion of my CDA in Child Development, I was excited to accept the opportunity to become a Home Visitor Supervisor.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

As a Supervisor I appreciate learning all the different ways home visiting can support families, and how we can adapt services to better meet their needs. My goal is to be the best advocate for the families and Home Visitors I serve. I really enjoy my team. 

Karen Leed - Denise Louie Education Center

KAREN LEED

When did you begin working at DLEC? March 2016

Home Visiting Background:

I have served as a Home Visitor with the Early Head Start program for several years and previously worked as an au pair for three children. Throughout my time at Denise Louie I completed my AA and have begun working on my BA.

Passion, what do you love about your work? 

I have enjoyed my time at DLEC these past few years. It’s challenged me in ways I never expected, touched my heart in profound ways, and allowed me to build connections with so many people. I’ve acquired so much knowledge about the diverse community we serve and the resilience of those in vulnerable situations. Each day is about embracing the values of equity, dignity and respect to make a difference with and for other people.

LEONA ZHAO

When did you begin working at DLEC? September 2014

Home Visiting Background:

I majored in Psychology that helps me understand people’s thoughts and behaviors.  It is helpful for me to build up a good relationship with children, parents and families. I majored in Special Education which taught me more skills in supporting child learning.

Passion, what do you love about your work? 

I love my job because it is meaningful to me. I think children are important to families and societies. They are the hope and future to human beings. I am happy to help them grow into healthy and great people. In addition, I can learn more and more knowledge on child development and child education in my position.

Lindsey Kenny - Denise Louie Education Center

LINDSEY KENNY

When did you begin working at DLEC? June 2019

Home Visiting Background:

I was a Lead Preschool Teacher in Colorado for 10 years, working with kids from 6 weeks to 5 years old. I have a BA in Elementary Education and a CDA for Preschool Education.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I like to see the process of a child learning something, or those parent-child learning moments. Even if it’s something small, those moments of connection and seeing parents take the lead as their child’s first and most important teacher keeps me connected to the work.

SHANIQUA HARRIS

When did you begin working at DLEC? February 2020

Home Visiting Background:

I have worked in the Early Childhood field for about 10 years. I have completed my undergraduate degree in the field as well. Working at more than 4 daycares and child development centers gave me a base of knowledge in Home Visiting.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love being able to give back to my community that I grew up in when I was younger. The excitement in the parents and child are always worthwhile to experience. I love that we create that glue between health, family services and child development within our agency and outside agencies. I hope to continue with this work for as long as we can!

STEPHANIE LARA RODRIGUEZ

When did you begin working at DLEC? February 2020

Home Visiting Background:

I was a Home Visitor for 3 years prior to starting with Denise Louie. I am currently in school to get my Associates of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education, and then will move on to get my BAS in Youth Development & Behavioral Science. I have worked as a Toddler classroom, and Preschool classroom teacher, and knew that I wanted to work with families and children during my time when I lived in Cochabamba, Bolivia volunteering in an orphanage there.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love the families that I work with! I love to hear their stories and work alongside them to best support them and their kiddos!

TANIA NEAL

When did you begin working at DLEC? May 2020
Home Visiting Background:

I worked with families as a Preschool Teacher primarily children 3 years and older, for three years.  I currently have my Associates Degree and am in the process of going back to school.
Passion, what do you love about your work?

I’m very excited to be a part of DLEC, because they have shown me everything they do to support families and that has been a passion of mine, to help families and become a part of their support system.

Yesenia Martin Sebastian - Denise Louie Education Center

YESENIA MARTIN SEBASTIAN

When did you begin working at DLEC? August 2018

Home Visiting Background: 

I volunteered/worked in early childcare settings and elementary schools for 5 years before joining DLEC. 

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love the opportunity to work with both parents and children of DLEC.

EHS - SUPPORT TEAM

ALICE CASEY

When did you begin working at DLEC? May 2014

Home Visiting Background:

I spent three years working as a Home Visitor for DLEC Early Head Start, and transitioned to the position of Child Development Coordinator in May of 2017.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

As a Home Visitor, the greatest joy came from watching caregivers and children fall in love with each other and with learning – sharing in new milestones and new skills. As the Child Development Coordinator, I get to see less of that, but I love working with Home Visitors and Teachers as they grow and learn alongside the families and children they serve. I also take any chance I can get to meet our kiddos and families, whether it’s visiting them in the classroom, attending Home Visits, or playing during Socialization.

CATE STURTEVANT

When did you begin working at DLEC? March 2020

Home Visiting Background:

Before joining the DLEC team, I worked as an elementary school teacher, a childbirth educator, and a birth doula. I have a Master of Public Health in Health Services (Maternal and Child Health) from the University of Washington.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love watching parents grow with their children as they build their confidence and parenting skills.

Denise Louie Education Center - Meet the Teachers

MATTHEW SAUNDERS

When did you begin working at DLEC? January 2015

Home Visiting Background:

I am new to Home Visiting, but I taught preschool for five years, supervised the Sandpoint Site, and studied Early Childhood and Family Studies in school.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I really love working with families and the community. As a Preschool Teacher, I partnered with a Kindergarten Teacher to visit their classroom on a field trip. It gave parents an opportunity to see how a dual-language kindergarten classroom operates and supports home language while expanding a child’s English development. Working with the Family Service Specialist, we encouraged parents who were interested to apply to a dual-language kindergarten program. Parent and community empowerment are my passions.

Megan Jimenez - Denise Louie Education Center

MEGAN JIMENEZ

When did you begin working at DLEC? January 2017

Home Visiting Background: 

After teaching abroad, I felt it was important to not only work with children, but also with their families as the family is the main teacher in a child’s life. When I found the Home Visitor position, it seemed like a perfect fit. After being a Home Visitor for almost two years, I moved into the Home Visitor Supervisor position.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love being able to witness that moment when families get to see their child learn something new or become successful at something they have been working on together. It is such a pure moment of joy, wonder, awe and love. As a Supervisor, I appreciate the wonderful team of people I get to work with each day!

RACHEL MILAH

When did you begin working at DLEC? July 2020

Home Visiting Background:

I began working at DLEC as the temporary Child Development Coordinator about a month ago. I have two years experience working with a newborn home-visiting program in Boston, and have spent many years working with children and families in preschool classrooms. 

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I love collaborating with Home Visitors and families to promote the strengths and gifts of our youngest kiddos. I’m very excited to continue this important work with DLEC!

SARA STAMEY

When did you begin working at DLEC? August 2017

Home Visiting Background:

I’ve been working with EHS since 2018.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

My favorite thing about my job has been getting to see the growth in our children and families. I love watching them learn new things, and start to grow into their own strengths!

TEAM CONSULTANTS

MEGAN MCCAY, MENTAL HEALTH CONSULTANT

When did you begin working with DLEC? August 2019

Early Childhood Background:

I began working with DLEC in the summer of 2019 and when I am not wearing my consulting hat, I am an Infant and Early Childhood therapist at Navos. My work in Early Childhood began in 2013 when I received my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Development.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

Ever since then I have loved working alongside families to discover the creativity and uniqueness of their child. As a therapist, I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to support families in building a stronger future for their children by strengthening the bond parents have with their kids.

NICOLE DEFRANK, NURSE CONSULTANT

When did you begin working with DLEC? August 2016

Early Childhood Background:

I began working as a Child Care Health Consultant in 2005. I aim to support Teachers and Home Visitors in helping children develop healthy habits.

Passion, what do you love about your work?

I am passionate about physical activity, breastfeeding and handwashing. Her favorite part of working with DLEC is visiting families after the birth of a baby.