Glenda Vargas – A Champion for Educational Equity

By Sarah Kurtzman, Treehouse Marketing & Communications

Across Washington state, Treehouse Educational Advocates like Glenda Vargas work tirelessly with schools, caseworkers, foster families and youth in foster care to resolve many of the difficult issues they experience and to remove barriers to kids’ school success.

With fierce optimism Glenda and her peers:

  • Help students access special education
  • Prevent school changes when students’ home placements change or help with the transition when changes are unavoidable
  • Minimize the effects of disciplinary actions that keep students out of school
  • Assist high school youth in making up credits and identifying alternative high school programs to stay engaged and on track to graduate
  • Train caregivers, social workers and students themselves to advocate for students’ educational rights

Glenda Vargas and the Treehouse Educational Advocate team

We recently received a touching thank you note from Treehouse youth Tiffany and her caregiver Sharon that eloquently highlights how Educational Advocates like Glenda go above and beyond every day to ensure the academic success of youth in care in our state.

In Treehouse youth Tiffany’s words…

“For as far back as I can remember, Mrs. Vargas has been fighting for equity on my behalf. Not only has she been a great education advocate, she has been a great mentor as well. Mrs. Vargas has always gone above and beyond her duties as a Treehouse employee to ensure my well-being and justice. My experience with her has been quite memorable, and for that I am truly grateful. Had it not been for her determination and perseverance many of my cultural, ethnic, and even basic hygiene needs would have never been met!  Thanks to her graceful, yet affirmative advocacy in my education and behavioral needs I am able to stand proudly today and say that, I Tiffany Marie Allen am a high school graduate and a freshman in college! Had it not been for her support, I might not even be standing here on this earth today. She has been emotionally supportive through all my highs and lows and never once doubted my abilities to become something great. Mrs. Vargas’ encouragement has carried me throughout all of these years and has made a difference and major impact in creating the young woman that I am today. Forever I am truly blessed to have had such a strong woman fighting alongside me, and even for me, when I couldn’t stand alone throughout my years in the foster care system.

In Treehouse caregiver Sharon’s words…

“I consider it an honor and a privilege to share with you a few words on the magnitude of the deposits that Glenda Vargas has made in Tiffany’s life.  In Glenda’s role as an advocate, her experience and knowledge have contributed greatly to navigating through a system that is not always user-friendly or familiar to youth; especially youth that are part of the foster care system! Glenda is to be recognized and commended for her genuine care and concern for children.  Her tenacity and grit have proven to be quite effective in many instances.  She stands for what she knows and believes. Her integrity and commitment to the underserved is a part of who she is. It has been a pleasure to work with Glenda.  She is always willing to advocate for the rights of children.  I am of the opinion that we could not have made it through this transition in Tiffany’s life without her! Thank you Glenda, you are truly appreciated.”

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About the Author

Sarah Kurtzman is the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications for Treehouse. She is grateful for the opportunity to share the stories of Treehouse students, families, and generous supporters with the community.

Comments (2)

Patricia Johnson

January 27, 2017

It is very inspiring to read about the good work and successes for foster youth that Treehouse makes possible. It is such important work that you do.


Gail Klingele

February 10, 2017

These both are wonderful letters and, as such, I would suggest that Glenda should get a raise in wages. She does put the children first.


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