Voices of YPI: Vanessa Montano

Voices of YPI: Vanessa Montano

*Text has been edited for length and clarity.

Vanessa Montano, Assistant Director of the Expanded Learning Department (EXL), has been with YPI for 13 years and she continues to be inspired to develop enrichment programs for youth that are fun, educational and memorable. This is her story. 

Q. Where were you born and raised?

A. I was born in Central America, in the country of El Salvador. My family migrated to the United States when I was a year old. I lived in Los Angeles for about 10 years before my family and I moved to the San Fernando Valley, where I have lived ever since.

Q. How long have you been working at YPI?

A. I’ve been with of YPI for 13 years.  I began as the project specialist for the youth service department, where I was responsible for overseeing three after-school programs and about 29 front-line staff. Shortly after, YPI expanded to about 15 after-school sites, where I then became responsible for the oversight and implementation of programming at those sites. Now, as an assistant director, I support a group of regional supervisors with program implementation, management and compliance.

Q. Why did you join YPI, and EXL specifically? What about our organization and the EXL program inspires you?

A. I joined YPI because I firmly believe in our mission and vision, specifically that all students, regardless of socioeconomic background deserve quality education and access to extracurricular opportunities. I enjoy working toward developing and implementing after school enrichment programs for youth that are fun, educational and provide students with memorable experiences.

Q. How do you feel you have personally impacted a recipient of EXL programming?

A. I believe I positively impact students everyday by providing them with a safe learning environment. This is done through offering a variety of academic and enrichment programs, which are fun and attention-grabbing. Often students don’t realize they’re doing math or practicing reading, which ultimately builds upon their academic skillset, overall confidence and love of learning.

Q. What is your favorite place in LA that you would recommend?

A. My favorite LA-inspired activity is laying out in Malibu, and of course stopping by the wineries for a tasting before catching some rays.

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