Meet Silvia Cobo a 2015 Hispanic Woman of Distinction
Sylvia came to the United States from Cuba over 45 years ago. She was forced to start a whole new way of life and it was a scary transition for her as a young girl. It seems fitting that her education and career path led her to enter the field of teaching, for the ESOL program, (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and help families, just like she experienced herself, to have a better life in a land of opportunity.
Sylvia recently retired as a teacher in a large elementary school in Broward County, Florida after 30 years in the profession. In her position she went way beyond what her job description required. Assisting families with basic needs, school supplies, referring them to government agencies, free clinics in the immediate area was just the right thing to do. Sylvia even tutored students after school, to help them meet their grade level. She held Parent Clinics, to teach mothers and fathers the support they can provide to the education of their children, many of whom did not speak English.
The satisfaction Sylvia has received from her commitment as an educator is the reality of witnessing those children she taught who have shown tremendous improvement in their assessment scores, have been promoted to the next level, and have become acculturated socially and accepted as part of the American family.
During her career, Sylvia has participated in a number of charitable organizations including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Broward Education Foundation, School Advisory Council, Take Stock in Children, Boys and Girls Clubs and the Parent Teacher Organization. Now that Sylvia has retired, she plans to become even more involved with a rescue group called Paws2Care Coalition, whose goal is to protect, rescue and offer medical care to abandoned, neglected or homeless pets.
“More and more Hispanic women are making a positive impact in our society. Some are well-known, others are not as well-known” She cited a one lesser known Latina, Samantha Garvey, a Salvadorian-American evicted from her family home, living in shelter, homeless, yet maintained a 3.9 average, and became a semifinalist in a prestigious science competition. “One cannot feel inspired while reading of these stories of adversity and triumph” she said.
Meet the other 2015 Hispanic Women of Distinction: