That is a fact we know to be true. But what does it really look like on a micro level, through the lens of an individual life? SAS employees like Ada Lopez demonstrate the transformative power of education.
Ada spent most of her professional career as a science teacher, but six years ago she joined Curriculum Pathways®. Now she spends her days finding new ways to develop instructional content for the sciences that make effective use of technology. Ada has a heart for children, a passion for learning and a belief that education can be transformative. Convictions she holds not from her college studies or from classroom teachings, but from her own life story.
Born in Cuba, Ada and her mother came to the United States as immigrants. But after a car accident killed her mother, Ada was put into the foster care system, where she experienced eight different foster placements over the course of just seven years. Yet even facing devastating loss and instability, Ada knew she wanted a better life for herself.
Chasing a better life through education
"I believed education was my ticket out of poverty and out of my situation," said Ada. "Education was my hope for a better future, because I just couldn't see myself living my entire life in the place that I was."
For Ada, school was a safe haven, offering hope, stability and love. Amid uncertainty, it was the only place she ever felt truly seen. Yet even with a deep desire to use education to transform her life, she considered dropping out of school at 16 years old, because she didn't have a place to live. But her high school teacher refused to let that happen and quickly decided to earn her foster parent’s license. That teacher became Ada's foster parent, and years later, she adopted Ada.
After completing high school, Ada set her eyes on a college degree. She knew she wanted to study science and education. Her goal was to build a career as an educator that could offer hope to children in need, the same way her mom offered hope to her.
Giving Millions Hope Through Education
"I loved being a classroom teacher, interacting with students and watching them learn," said Ada. "But in the classroom I could only reach a limited number of students. My job at SAS allows me to reach millions of students around the world and share my passion for STEM.”
Ada's story is a beautiful reminder of the power of education and why it stands as a cornerstone of SAS. For children - curiosity inspires, and education empowers - and we want to be there to inspire and empower them along the way.
It's why we support efforts to close the skills gap. It's why we encourage exposure to STEM. It's the motivation behind our work to improve reading proficiency, and why we tirelessly advocate for integrating technology at all levels of learning.
Education matters and it’s the key to building a global community of innovators.