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OFFICIAL JOB TITLE: Founder and Executive Director of RootED Northwest Arkansas
HOMETOWN: Springdale

My community has helped me become a leader.

Judith Yanez
Where are you from and what brought you here? How long have you been here?

I am originally from California. I have been here for 22 years. I decided I wanted to go back to school as a single mom. I received a scholarship from the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas. They support single parents going back to school. I went to Northwest Arkansas Community College and the University of Arkansas. This would have been a difficult process anywhere else, attaining my education, but because of the support I had in my community, I was able to do it.

How did RootED come to be?

I taught math at Springdale High School and Haas Hall Academy. With 120 students plus 2 children at home I knew there had to be a greater impact I could make with these kids outside of being a classroom teacher. I got this opportunity to start my organization that helps parents find the best school environment for their child.

One word to describe your work environment?

Safe place

What’s the best part about Northwest Arkansas?

I don’t think anywhere in the United States would I have been able to hold my own, attend school, have the support of the community and support of the schools to get where I am today. My community has helped me become a leader.

What do your children do? What do you like to do as a family?

Nicole goes to Haas Hall. Right now, she is busy applying for colleges. Keith goes to Thaden School. He likes to play basketball and video games. We like to sign up for various activities around the community to stay involved, like volunteer.

What is one thing you can’t go without?

A smile

What is your favorite coffee shop?

I’m a tea drinker. I love Mama Carmen’s chai tea. And I love their space in Fayetteville. In Bentonville, I love Onyx.

Best place to grab a drink?

There’s this cool little bar in downtown Springdale called Emma Ave Bar and Tap. I like it because they play 90’s music.

What are your favorite restaurants?

RR Curry Express in Springdale. The mango curry and the chicken tikka masala are really good. Also Silk Road Thai Restaurant. And you have to try Yeyo’s tacos.

 

To learn more about RootED Northwest Arkansas, click here

Photos c/o: Kitling Williams, Aaron Burden via Unsplash, @arickacl, @taylorphou, @kdb07

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