Founders

IN THE BEGINNING...

Lydia Rodrigues Founder, CEO

Lydia Rodrigues is a native Bay Area educator and child advocate. Growing up in Hayward, California, Lydia is the fourth generation of Puerto Rican women to serve her local community. Beginning her service at a young age, Lydia has worked in a variety of educational settings with children from diverse backgrounds and abilities. She has since, dedicated all of her adult life to advocating and improving the quality of life for children in her community and internationally. Lydia’s hold a B.A in Philosophy and continues her study in the fields of Human Development, Special Education, Philosophy and Spirituality. Her passion and value for knowledge and equality, led her into the public education system and non-profit organizations, where has she spent the last 10 years teaching in low-income areas with at-risk youth and students with disabilities. Her wide skills sets and personal spiritual journey, allows her to empathize and connect with children and families, while providing them with the support they need to thrive.  Holding the belief that every child is divine and has limitless potentials and talents that are waiting to be expressed, Lydia has founded Know Thyself School with the intent to liberate and empower all children. She reminds children of the gifts within themselves and encourages them to build upon them to serve themselves and others. Her passion, optimism and love for life and learning are infectious.

Andrea Jimón, Co-Founder, Secretary

Andrea Jimón was a sophomore at Fremont High School in East Oakland, California, when she began supporting in the foundation of Know Thyself School.  The daughter of an Guatemalan mother and indigenous Mayan father, Andrea is the first generation of her family to be born in the United States.  Andrea's cultural background and personal journey lead her to realize the value of education at a young age. With goals to attend  university, study medicine, and become a surgeon, Andrea has thrived in the public education model, obtaining honor roll awards and attending advanced placement and college courses. Although Andrea has thrived in traditional education, Andrea began to see how her value of education was not reciprocal amongst some of her peers. She realized that the limits of standardized education and the lack of student input created a disinterest in learning . After beginning high school, her own interest in school began to fade, but her desire for learning  and helping people remained.  Sitting in a classroom with a variety of children, she realized they all had talents, interests and strengths that were valuable. It was just the environment that wasn't meeting their needs. This motivated her to volunteer with local non-profits and service learning projects; providing healthcare services, teaching children. Andrea's mission is to help reinstate a love for learning for future generations and to make a difference in her community. During her academic career,  Andrea has taken on programs and projects that have exceeded the expectation of a student, ultimately driven by her passion for her culture, community, education, and health.

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