Alicia Torres is the Education Director at Felton Institute.
“Surge means opportunity. Education equality entails providing different needs for different people, and meeting individuals where they are at, this is how I view educational equity, which goes beyond equality. “The pursuit of full humanity, however, cannot be carried out in isolation or individualism, but in fellowship and solidarity; therefore, it cannot unfold in the antagonistic relations between oppressors and oppressed. No one can be authentically human while he prevents others from being so.” (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire, 85). The Surge Institute is a community and movement for people who have chosen to go deeper in combating oppression experienced by students of African American, Latinx, or Asian Pacific Islander descent. I see this opportunity at Surge Institute to help my development in areas of leadership to strengthen my current vision and to manifest more dreams about what else could be possible in reaching equity across an unjust early childhood education system.
My hope is to strengthen the field of early childhood education and increase equity as an essential service for our community and to provide our children with a high-quality experience through their first moments of community socialization. I hope to provide more for my community and pass forward new knowledge to others and continue a cycle of pouring into people in order to steward strong communities.”
Alicia Torres is a San Francisco mission native, and a passionate Early Childhood educator. She has dedicated 16 years of learning, growing, developing, understanding and building community in order to impact children, families and early care providers. Alicia was the former Director of EDvance’s Lower Division Programs, where she led all programming and initiatives focused on engaging, recruiting, and retaining future early childhood educators and supporting first generation college students in a variety of ways. Additionally, Alicia was an instructor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development, teaching child development courses through a social justice and equity lens. She is the former Regional Director for Jumpstart with Young Children, a national early education organization that promotes literacy, language, and social-emotional programming in under-resourced preschool programs. Alicia’s professional passions and experiences began as an AmeriCorps member in Oakland preschool classrooms. She also worked at Saint Mary’s College as a non-profit coordinator supporting a service-learning program, leading both community and family workshops and worked directly with families in Oakland where she realized her commitment to working on behalf of children and families.
Alicia is the Education Director for Felton Institute's Children, Youth and Transitional Age Youth Services Division. She provides educational, and leadership development support to early care supervisors and educators. Alicia educates, coaches, provides guidance, training, technical assistance to serve children and families with a strength-based approach. Alicia has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Leadership and Supervision and a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from St. Mary’s College.
Alicia is committed to figuring long-term sustainability for early care educators wages and economic investments. Alicia resides in the Bay Area, California.