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Maria Luisa Jimenez, Director

My name is Maria Luisa Jimenez. I am married to Cesar Jimenez and I am mother of 3 men: Julio Cesar, Emmanuel and Josemaria. We emigrated from Mexico to Walla Walla in l996. It seemed like a beautiful place where we could raise our children. Julio was born in Mexico in l993 and in l998 I gave birth to Emmanuel who was diagnosed with Down syndrome and in 2002 Josemaria was born. He was a premature baby and died at 15 days of birth. As parents we have faced many challenges. Anywhere from language barriers to learning about the condition of my son Emmanuel and since then have been seeking the resources to show us how to help him in his development. In the year of l999 we started to become members of Parent to Parent. A great program! We found the support of many wonderful people, and services for my son and the entire family. Emmanuel participated in early intervention therapies which was and has been fundamental for his development. With the creation of WWVDN we have had the opportunity to participate in events and activities that encourage our children to feel Included and Valued. Now Emmanuel is 19 years old and is a playful young man who participates in the STEP program (Students Transitioning into Employment Possibilities). I have participated as an active member of Parent to Parent by attending the meetings regularly, I have also served as parent assistant to Hispanic parents and I have had the opportunity to do so along with Ysabel Fuentes. In Mexico after secondary study and cosmetology school, I worked 8 years as a cashier in a sports club and two years in a beauty parlor. Attending WWCC in 2003 I got my GED certificate. In 2005 a CDA (Child Development Associate) certificate. I also worked 9 years at the Washington State Migrant Council, from 1996-1997 as Bus Aid, and in 2003-2011 as a teacher assistant and as a teacher of infants and toddlers. I've always loved being surrounded by children. Now I have the opportunity to be a care provider for my son Emmanuel and enjoy taking care of my granddaughters.