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state mother of the year
Angelina Barrera, 2024 California Mother of the Year.

Angelina Barrera

February 12, 2024



Angelina Barrera was born in Chula Vista, California. She has worked in higher education for fourteen years as a paraprofessional in the academic affairs and student services division at a local community college in California. Currently, she serves the diverse community of English language learners (ESL). Most of these students are immigrants who are adapting to a new country, new culture and education system. She is a passionate leader who enjoys helping students to achieve their goals, but especially to help them break the many barriers they may encounter when attending a school in the United States. She was selected as one of the three finalists as a “Pioneer in Education” in the San Diego Magazine, that will feature her in their annual Celebrating Women awards. She is a dedicated young educator and a pioneer as the ESL Student Advocate, giving them a voice and making them feel included.

Parenting Philosophy

Being a mother is a learning process. There are no manuals or specialized training that a woman can take before deciding to become a mother. I consider myself to be an authoritative mother because I am supportive and nurturing but at the same time I like to set firm rules. I like that my kids have their own perspective and I respect it but I also like to reflect upon their viewpoints. My goal as a mother is to create a strong bond with my children so that they feel the connection and the importance of positive relationships in life. During their first five years, my children were incorporated into Montessori philosophy, where they learned to be self-motivated, respectful of their environment and developed a sense of creativity and curiosity for things in the world. Additionally, I am raising my kids in a bilingual and bicultural setting so that they have better opportunities in life and value the cultural aspects of society in general. The reality is that as a mother I have learned to be flexible and adapt to my children’s needs, there is no perfect parenting style, but the one that works best for you.

Motherhood and Community

Being a working mother: Being a working mother has helped me to become a better person and mother. I have learned to enjoy quality time with my family knowing that my time is limited and it has to be organized into different segments of my life as a professional and a mother. Being a working mother has helped me develop leadership skills that have shaped the person, mother and professional I am today. English language learners advocate: Working in higher education as an ESL student advocate has made me realize that many immigrant mothers face challenges with different aspects of their life, from adapting to a new country to learning how to navigate a new system in general. An immigrant mother’s mission is to help their children feel they belong in this new society and prepare them for an optimal child adaptation process, and this has had a positive impact in my life because I have realized that sometimes we do take things for granted. I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful mothers who are role models to their children and who have broken many barriers as women, mothers and immigrants.