I met Claudia at an Extraordinarily On Purpose event where her story inspired and mesmerized me. Her perserverance, strength and passion for life is contagious! She is the example of our shining warrior women we all aspire to be. Discovering more about what she does will inspire you as well!
Day-to-day operations of Kids Like Languages is under the direction of Claudia Liliana Andrade, CEO. She is a native of Colombia, long-time Oregon resident and U.S. citizen.
Claudia has been an integral part of Kids Like Languages growth and success. She began working with Kids Like Languages as a language and culture teacher in 1999. She was then promoted to Master Teacher trainer and Operations Manager for two years before acquiring the business as its owner and Chief Operating Officer in 2008. Her gift of teaching, ability to relate to students and passion for education is well regarded among school principals, teachers, school staff, parents and students alike.
Claudia holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Portland State University, and a Bachelor’s with a major in Computer Engineering and minor in Elementary Education. Claudia has completed several teacher trainings, and continues her studies toward a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Portland State University.
1) What exactly is your business and what inspired you?
My Business is Kids Like Languages. We provide language curriculum classes during and after school to 6 different school districts in the Portland metro area reaching out to more than 120 schools. I started working for the company in 1999 and since day one was inspired to have a business with that model and in 2008 I had the opportunity to purchase the business from the previous owner. I am blessed to have the business of my dreams and to be able to fulfill my life’s purpose, which is to be able to educate children.
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
I meditate every day, I pray to God and to the angels for guidance. I have a Purpose driven plan, not a to do list. My inspiration I find it in my Why? Why am I doing this? Is it bringing me pleasure? Am I contributing something meaningful to the lives of others? I also find inspiration in the simple things in life, The smile of a child , the smell of a rose, the rays of the sun caressing my face. Pretty much in all the wonders that God created.
3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
I Move my body every day. I go to the gym and lift weights, I meditate, I journal, I read , I listen to inspirational books, I do courses online of personal development, I eat LIVE foods, vibrant foods that give my body the nutrients that it needs. I cook. I am creative in the kitchen, I paint ( pastels- water colors). I travel , I connect with the people I love. I do all the things that bring me joy.
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
I acknowledge my emotions, I acknowledge my thoughts, I watch them like if they are coming and going in the stream of a river; If it is a stressful thought … I tell it just keep swimming like Dori in finding Nemo. Also, I thank the stressful thought for being here because it gives me the opportunity to question myself and to go back to my ‘Why’, to my juice, to my purpose driven plan.
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
The best part I get to touch the lives of children to inspire them and they touch mine; that is priceless.
I would not say worst, but the one that stretches me to think outside my comfort zone is to deal with administrative policies and paper work.
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
I keep learning that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, I do not consider things failures, I consider them opportunities.
Some of those opportunities for growth and learning at work have been teachers leaving my company to go and work directly with the schools that I have contracts with.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I would cover my back with a clause in our contract that says that employees can not work with the school that I am providing for them and, one for the schools that says they can not hire my teachers.
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
I would say what are you waiting for? The world needs more of US out there. Stop working for somebody else’s dream and START working for your OWN dreams. You’ve got a special Gift and it is needed NOW.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
I had to overcome fear, all the voices in my head and the voices from people (ex- husband) who said I was not able to make it, that I didn’t have the money, that I was not good managing people, that I was too weak, that English was not my first language. But I did it! I told fear and the voices they were welcome to watch me do it and I thank them for being there watching my success.
10) Any last parting words?
It is an honor to be in your magazine, and if anyone would like to contact me to get advice, I would be happy to share with them the gifts that God has giving me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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