Gabriela Villegas has worked with WITS as a writer for nearly a decade. Currently she teaches WITS at Davila Elementary School and at The Menil Collection. She is the founder of the theater arts nonprofit, Jaguar Sun. Gabriela is a single mom of three children and although she may seem like Superwoman, she claims the she simply does what needs to be done.
Her most cherished memory of WITS exemplifies our mission to make a positive difference in the life of a child.
“I remember one boy who stuttered and didn’t like to write. I gave him some exercises and stayed 5 minutes after class just to hear him read. As he noticed he was improving he would ask for more things to do, so I told him whenever you are watching TV just put a pencil in your mouth and enunciate. This was around Christmas time.
After the holidays he was not stuttering anymore, and his writings flowed beautifully. This experience stood out in my mind because I like to remember that what we do in WITS is much more than just teaching children to write and read. Its about giving them confidence, about allowing them to tune in to their voices and possibilities and to inspire them to wander through different worlds.”
The most important lesson she has learned during her WITS experience is how to engage her students. “I learned how important it is to connect and be present. Sometimes finding the connection may seem very challenging but in the end it is always simple. We all have our unique labyrinths, we are all seeking those connections that make us whole, and that help us grow.”