Title: Program Enrichment Lead
Center: Dan Donahue Center
Time at KidWorks: 3 years
Favorite after-school snack: Acai bowl
Favorite thing about KidWorks: Learning and building relationships
Favorite Memory: Laughing with my kiddos!

(Editor’s note: This is the third installment in our monthly feature, “Meet the Teacher,” where readers have a chance to know each of our dedicated educators a little better. This month, we celebrate Daisy Rojas, Program Enrichment Lead.)

Since we first opened our doors 30 years ago, KidWorks has been focused on developing “the whole person” in the students we serve. That includes academics, careers, spiritual development, personal development, leadership, fitness/health, community service and enrichment/creative expression.

Championing enrichment and creative expression is where Daisy Rojas, our Program Enrichment Lead, excels.

This month’s “Meet the Teacher” team member delights in introducing students to new experiences and creative outlets—urging them to overcome any hesitations and explore talents they may not know reside within.

Daisy is also the owner of one of widest smiles and welcoming hearts you’ll ever find.

“My talents are being funny, making people laugh and giving complements,” Daisy says.

Daisy oversees our KidWorks University program, where students in grades kindergarten through high school participate in fun, energetic, hands-on workshops led by our talented volunteers.

Workshops focus on art, science, music, dance, creative writing/journaling, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Latin jazz, software coding, woodworking, electricity, arts and crafts, art for healing, drawing/painting, yoga, theater, speech, debate, knitting—and more.  

“The most rewarding feeling is watching students actively participate and take initiative in trying something new,” Daisy says. “I love watching their confidence grow.”

Daisy is a careful listener and designs our enrichment programs after proactively seeking input from our students.

“My number one goal is to firmly understand and implement what our students want to learn and experience,” she says. “I want them all to have fun and know their ideas and opinions matter.”

Daisy also sees the big picture in the value that a robust enrichment program provides.

“Our students are not just learning to play a game, dance or build robots,” Daisy says. “They are also gaining critical thinking skills, following our traditions, building up their confidence and trying something new.”

She adds, “Enrichment experiences are an opportunity for students to understand what they do or don’t like. I’m all about relationships so I believe programs such as KidWorks University present a perfect time for staff and volunteers to connect with students.”

Daisy joined the KidWorks team three years ago, first as an intern while completing her undergraduate degree at California State University, Fullerton, where she majored in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and minored in Human Services.

She later applied, and was accepted, as a Program Leader at KidWorks, urged to do so by Gerardo Magaña, now our Senior Director of Programs.

Daisy credits the KidWorks team for leading her on a path of increased responsibilities.

“I learned so much from Karina Flores, Townsend Street Site Director, and Idalia Galdamez, Director of our state-licensed preschool, and her team.”

She adds, “I transitioned to a Program Leader at the Dan Donahue Center under the leadership of Jessica Ellis, Site Director.”

Along the way, Daisy also had roles at our Townsend Center, eventually becoming Program Enrichment Lead this fall.

Over the past three years, Daisy has  worked with students in kindergarten through 12th grade  as an educator, mentor, cheerleader and more.

“I love doing it all,” she says.

Daisy grew up in Victorville, California. “I remember always being outside running around or racing down the hill that my home was on,” she says.

Daisy enjoys a range of interests during her spare time: “I love being outdoors! Whether it’s a hike, going to the park or just going for a walk. I also love going to concerts. I also color and paint.”

She adds, “I love going to the beach, especially Laguna, in the summer with an acai bowl.”

Daisy is grateful for everyone who walks alongside her on her KidWorks’ journey.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work with the students and families,” she says. “A special thank you to everyone who helps me grow personally and professionally.”

We thank Daisy for making such a positive impact on our students through enrichment, encouragement and love for every one of them.

By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer

If you would like to personally say “thanks” to Daisy for the way she is helping to enrich students’ lives, please email her at: daisy.rojas@kidworksoc.org