The Latino Professionals Association
Presents Yo Soy
Rolling with the Punches
|Amparo Moreno, who grew up
in South Texas and Mexico, is
the 5.09 HSED instructor and
high school completion lab
coordinator at Madison College’
s DTEC campus.
“I was encouraged to apply,” Moreno said. “And I did. I got selected to the first round and then the second round and the third round. This time, I had my little paper
that said that my degree counts for an education degree even though it says ‘family consumer and communications education degree.’ I have the pedagogy. I’m a
teacher. I got the job with the understanding that it was limited term employment. It was only an internship for one year. Again at the end of the school year, I had to
reapply for my job. I had to jump through a lot of hoops. And I did. I reapplied. And I got my job. And I became an adult basic education instructor focusing in high
Part 2 of 2
By Jonathan Gramling
Amparo Moreno’s life’s journey has not been an easy one. It’s had its ups and downs and turn arounds, but through strength,
determination and listening to God’s will, Moreno has landed where she was meant to be all along.
After working a few years with migrant students as a student support facilitator and with her education training, Moreno decided to
take her support to a new level when a teacher position opened up. Madison College wasn’t able to fill the position with the people
who applied, including Moreno. The position was rewritten and reposted and again Moreno didn’t get the position. Frustrated, she
called the HR department.
“‘Why am I not good enough,” Moreno asked. “I don’t understand.’ She said, ‘Unfortunately, you do meet all of the requirements
except one. Your teaching degree, because it’s from the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology, it says ‘bachelor’s in science in
community nutrition and education.’ It doesn’t say, ‘bachelor’s of science in education.’ I didn’t fulfill the requirements because of
the nomenclature of the title. I spoke to HR and said, ‘But I have the pedagogy. You can look at all of the credits.’ She said,
‘Unfortunately, that’s what was given. We weren’t given any wiggle room. It has to say those words exactly. Unfortunately because
of that, you’re not a candidate.”
Moreno got the letter from Human Ecology and was all set to reapply when the position came up once again.
As it turned out, the college still wasn’t able to find the right candidate and classes were set to begin. Juan Morales came out of
retirement to teach the classes for a year. The position was reposted after a year as a minority internship, which would allow
someone without a lot of experience, but met all of the requirements to apply.
Moreno has since taken on more responsibility as the HSED instructor and high
school completion lab coordinator. She had reached her goal through hard work and
Now that she has achieved a position that she enjoys, Moreno feels that it doesn’t
stop there. Just as others paved the way for her, it is now her turn to reach back and
help others achieve.
“There is a saying by Maya Angelou that says, ‘Sister, when you get, give,’” Moreno
said. “’When you learn, teach.’ That has always stuck to me because once you are in
a position, especially as minorities, once you have made it and found stability or
once you have accomplished your dreams and goals, I believe that it is your
obligation to help others. I was telling you that ‘The way you are, I was. The way I am,
you will become.’ Other people who have come before, they have done so much for
the Latino community. They busted down doors. They are the ones who came in with
their bulldozers and paved the way. They had a vision and they thought, ‘That’s a
good spot. And I’m going to make this.’ And they cut down the trees and they laid
down the foundation. And then for many years, they maintained the gates and kept
them open. And so now it is for future generations to continue that, but not just open
the doors, but also go out and recruit and say, ‘Hey come. Hey, guess what? You
should come. The doors are open and I believe in you. You can do this. You’ve got
this. Why aren’t you coming?’”
Moreno is proud to be a Latino Professionals Association member. She feels that it
places young professionals to shoot down the stereotypes that others may have of
Latinos and show that Latinos have achieved in many walks of life.
“‘The way you are, I was; the way I am, you will become,’” Moreno said. Increasingly
as young Latino professionals continue to achieve in different fields, the young
people coming behind then will see there are so many things that they can become.