Meet Wendy: Our Future Franchise Owner!
Our Rochester location is opening soon, fall of 2022! We are excited and grateful to build a community of care through our intercultural early learning program. As we look forward to the opening of this center, we sat down and chatted with Casa Rochester’s Operations Manager and future franchise owner, Wendy. Wendy Letran is from Guatemala and moved to the United States in 2007. Her story is incredible and worth sharing as a source of inspiration to other Latinas and entrepreneurs. Get to know Wendy!
Where did you work before Casa and what led you to apply to become a Teacher Aide?
Back in Guatemala I used to be a high school teacher. Then when I came to the United States in 2007, I worked with a temp agency and they sent me to various places. So I worked in different factories, in production, and in assembly/shipping. I thought that as a Latina woman that just recently emigrated from Guatemala that there were no other opportunities here. So I committed myself to be the best I could be in any place as long as it was a decent job that somehow fulfilled the economic needs for me to support my dad back in Guatemala. My soul was grateful but sad that I was not able to do what was my nature, which is teaching!
One day, the bus that I was riding took a different route because of construction. Then I saw this school with a title in Spanish, so I didn’t think twice and got off the bus and went to ask what this place was about! I decided to overcome my fear of not being fluent in English and I prepared myself to walk in and apply for any position. But then when I entered the school and heard kids’ music in Spanish! It was the most exciting moment in my career thinking that I could, maybe, possibly, have a little chance to work with kiddos!
How did you feel once you started working at Casa?
I felt and feel valued! I have worked in some factories with people that treated me differently because of my skin color and language. So when I came to Casa and I was able to do my interview in Spanish and share my passion for education it was amazing. I was very nervous because I felt that Natalie was carefully listening to my answers but when I received the call about an offer, that was one of the happiest days of my life because it had led me down this path.
What are you doing now?
Today, I am the Academic Coordinator at Casa and have my CDA certification. I support our staff to become qualified lead teachers in the United States. And soon I will own my Casa franchise! I’m starting as the Operations Manager at Rochester and this opportunity will allow me to obtain franchise ownership in the future.
When did you first think about owning a Casa Franchise and why?
I never thought that owning a franchise could be an option for me, honestly. I have worked hard in all the positions I have held during my time here but one day a few years ago I initiated a conversation with Natalie that peaked my interest and that was when I truly started to dig into the requirements and possibilities!
Back in Guatemala, I thought of owning a business. However, when I came to the United States I felt that people like me were not meant to be business owners, again because of the language barrier, culture, and other factors. I’m so grateful to be in a community that has allowed me to overcome that thought!
How did those first conversations go when you first started inquiring about a Casa Franchise?
Since day one until today, we meet every week with Kelly and Natalie, and both have been extremely and genuinely supportive. What I appreciate and value the most is that they are 100% committed to me during the time that we meet. There are no distractions, we take the hour very seriously because there are so many important details we must consider.
Rendering of Rochester Location
What are you most excited about?
I am so excited to show our program to a new community. I remember when I was the Center Director at Kingfield, one of my favorite things to do was offer tours and get to know the families. Each family got to experience my enthusiasm the first time they toured. I loved communicating their milestones and day-to-day activities to get to know them better.
It’s like building our own community in each center and it is impossible to not build relationships. I want to be able to show families that this is a real home for everyone. I’m very excited to share who we are as Casa, the curriculum, and also to have the solar panels installed!
What do you hope people know about Casa?
For families, I want them to know that it is a life-changing experience, that it is worth it, and that here kids are truly loved and cared for. For prospective teachers, I want them to know that this is a wonderful place to work, that Casa truly values us as individuals and supports our professional development, and that we offer great benefits!
And for future franchise owners, I want them to know that this is the real deal and you won’t be disappointed. Natalie herself has created this guide with Kelly that is so detailed, and easy to visualize the whole project and clear expectations, plus, at Casa the team has designed guides for all positions and training guides. Lastly, you will receive all the support you need from everyone throughout the whole journey and you will have great mentors who will share tips and strategies that will help you succeed!
Click here to inquire about owning your own Casa!