Justin began his career in Adult Education teaching immigrants and refugees at the Columbus Literacy Council in Columbus, Ohio in 2009. In September 2011, Justin began teaching ESL Composition at the Ohio State University. Shortly after, he received his Master’s degree in Foreign and Second Language Education, also from Ohio State. His previous experience also includes volunteer training and management, grant writing and management, and instructional technology training. In addition to being a Master Trainer, Justin also coordinates and facilitates local professional development opportunities and manages and updates the Literacy Forward web portal.
Karen Green began her career in Adult Education while in Ecuador in 1996 as a volunteer English teacher with a program called WorldTeach. She later spent an additional 2 years living and working as Field Director for the same program. She has 8 years experience working in the field of study abroad and completed a Masters degree in International Education from the School for International Training.
Karen has been the Education Coordinator at an Austin-based non-profit called Manos de Cristo since 2008, where 500 adult students annually receive instruction in four different types of classes: English as a Second Language, Computer Literacy, Citizenship preparation, and Adult Basic Education and Literacy in Spanish. In her spare time, you might find her playing drums in a samba band, doing yoga, or attending to her garden.
Julia Maffei is an adult ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher trainer and workshop facilitator for the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, and has been an ESOL adult educator in Austin, Texas for 20 years. She holds an M.A. in Foreign Language Education (2005) and a B.F.A. (1988) in photography from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently teaches ESOL to adults for Austin Community College, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, the Texas Intensive English Program, and Texas State Intensive English. She also leads a teaching practicum for novice teachers at Manos de Cristo. Julia has taught students from all over the world of all levels of ability and educational background.
After graduating from Texas A&M with an English literature degree, Alexia attended BIOLA University in Southern California for a Masters in Applied Linguistics with an emphases in TESOL. After finishing classes at BIOLA she spent one year teaching middle school and high school ESL in Austin. She then spent a year teaching English in the Dominican Republic with MAKARiOS, an Austin based non-profit for educational development. After returning to Austin, She spent 3.5 years working in a local EL/Civics program as an instructor and later as a program manager. In the spring of 2011 she was able to return to the classroom to teach with various programs in Austin, including Austin Community College, ENGLISH @ WORK , and iACT. She is also a Literacy Forward Trainer and workshop facilitator for the Central Texas GREAT Center.
Toni has been with Advocacy Outreach since 2009. She started out as the Advanced ESL Instructor for the evening classes at Manor High. She began working as the Beginners ESL Instructor for the day classes in 2012, as well as keeping her Advanced ESL classes in the evening. She also teaches at the El Shaddai Education Center and has been with the church since 2010. She is married and has a son. She has lived in the Austin area since 1994. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Work and has over 30 years of work experience in the Social Work field. Her career in English as a Second Language began as a hobby in her hometown, but developed more when she moved to Austin. It has been her official “second” career since 2008.
Jen Freeman began working with the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas in 2009, and quickly became fascinated by the challenges and opportunities facing literacy teachers and learners in community-based organizations. During her time at the Literacy Coalition, Jen focused on volunteer coordination, program development, and helping connect literacy instructors to research-based practices. She has volunteered as an instructor of ABE, ESL, and computer literacy at nonprofits throughout the Austin area. Jen holds an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a PhD student, assistant instructor, and researcher in UT's Department of Educational Psychology. She specializes in psycholinguistics, and is dedicated to exploring how adults learn new languages and learn through language. In her spare time Jen enjoys reading, playing piano, and exploring Austin parks with her two dogs.