Leslie joined the Friends of the Children program as a professional mentor in August 2014. Prior to joining our team, Leslie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, with a minor in Sociology, from the University of South Florida. Following graduation, she spent several years working within the school system as a tutor who worked with at-risk youth at AmeriCorps, a paraprofessional with 6th-8th grade youth in the exceptional student education (ESE) program, an elementary school substitute teacher and a first-grade teacher.
Being a part of the school realm, surrounded by children of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures has strengthened Leslie's pedagogic style and culture competence. She is an advocate for differentiated instruction, teaching the same material in different forms to accommodate the individual learning needs of her students. The quote, "A person's a person, no matter how small" from Dr. Seuss is especially close to Leslie's heart because it embodies the reality that every child deserves to know how truly unique they are, no matter their challenges.
Since joining Friends of the Children, Leslie has immersed herself in the field of encouraging each child to discover their identity, empowering them to reach their highest potential and ultimately become the best person they are meant to be!
Leslie has called Tampa, Fla., her home for the past thirteen years and loves to discover life with her husband, Carlo, son, Jesse, daughter, Carlie and Shihtzu, Teddy.