On the Park Bench: 5 Questions with Yoselin
Originally from Venezuela, Yoselin is a lawyer, nanny, and lifelong learner. In between masters degrees and desk jobs, she has worked with over 40 families. She currently resides in San Francisco and is working toward her license as Early Childhood Site-Supervisor.
1. How did you get into child care?
I started as an Au Pair in New York when I was 22 years old. I had finished my Bachelor’s degree in law in my home country, Venezuela, and I wanted to come to the United States to learn English. It was the first time I traveled outside my country, and I wanted to live with a family so I wasn’t alone. I was an Au Pair for three kids, baby twins and 4 years old sister—I went from zero to three kids overnight! It was amazing—challenging but amazing. I couldn’t have loved them anymore. Since then, I’ve worked at desk jobs, and I’ve been a nanny for over 40 families.
2. So you’re a lawyer and a nanny?
Yes, and more! I became a lawyer, and I liked it, but I didn’t feel complete. When I started taking care of kids I realized that it was my passion, what I really loved to do. I’m also super pro-education—I love learning. I moved to San Francisco in 2012 to get a Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship, which is helping people to help themselves and the community through business. I loved that too. I worked with a company that creates babies incubators using minimal electricity, solar energy or hot water to keep the babies alive in developing countries. In that job, I was connected to kids but I realized it wasn’t fully what I wanted. I didn’t have the time to be a full-time nanny, but I cared for children at night and on the weekends. In 2014, I decided to fully dedicate myself to it.
3. What’s it like to be a Latina who’s first generation in the United States?
It’s always rewarding to teach kids to speak Spanish and to show your cultural heritage. The first thing they learn from me is how to dance, even before they start to crawl. That’s part of who I am. Being from Latin America has helped get me where I am. In my country, you learn at a young age to be resourceful. I had to be able to react quickly to my environment, and it became second nature to me. This trait helped me adjust to living in New York and to learn English.
When I first arrived, I didn’t know anything about anything. I had to catch up a lot. Not only did I focus on learning English, I also did a certificate in Project Management. My second host family was really helpful in my learning and the mom taught me a lot about educating kids. She would have these nicely organized rooms with toys—I didn’t grow up with that. Things were in a specific layout so the kids could run around the house. She was also into healthy eating. She would make organic, fresh food, with no preservatives. I thought “wow, this is amazing.” She showed me many things. I was curious about it all and I started researching and I developed my own techniques and methods.
4. Learning is a big theme for you. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a nanny that you would want to share with others?
You need to learn your worth. Some people may think I am expensive, but I tell them “This is my experience. This is my background. Look at my reviews.” Not all families can afford it, I understand. But what I have to offer goes beyond a simple negotiation. It's love, care, and attention as if your kids are my own.
When my Au Pair year was done, I cried for a month. That’s how much it hurt not being with those kids. I was heartbroken. Not everybody cares about your kids that much. I’ve invested a lot in my education; I work really hard so I charge for that.
5. What’s next for you in your career?
I’d like to be a director of a daycare or a preschool. I’m taking the classes for my license and I have to put in 80-150 hours of working time, which will give me a better idea of if I prefer daycare or preschool. Alternatively, I could see working at a tech company that has products or services focused on kids’ education.
Helping kids and families really drives me. I want to help kids in underserved communities to realize their power and own worth. I have a particular fondness for Latin communities. I want to tell them yes, you can, and help them. It doesn’t matter where you come from, if you prepare yourself and work hard, you have worth. You have to realize it, believe it and go for it. If you don’t seek to do better every day, you are not going to move forward. You have to do the best work possible, always strive for excellence, learn all you can about everything and everyone, be honest, understanding, caring, and success will be yours. You just have to go for it.
On the Park Bench is a series that spotlights caregivers and their stories. Have an interesting story to share? Email our HIDDEN.