Lisa Ann Sepulveda has had more than one full-circle moment since joining Arizona PBS more than four years ago. She’s now working at the television station she watched for countless hours as a child, and her position is funded by an organization she encountered earlier in her career.
“My grandmother let me watch way too much ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Mister Rogers,’ and I came out fine,” she said. “I loved it so much I would say that I wanted to go work for ‘Sesame Street.’ When I got the job here, I was so excited because the first thing I saw coming in was Cookie Monster.”
At Arizona PBS, Lisa Ann is part of the Education and Community Impact department, a corner of our offices where posters, plush toys and cardboard cutouts of PBS KIDS characters tend to collect. It might not be working on “Sesame Street,” but it can feel pretty close.
As a program coordinator for the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry, Lisa Ann supports early childhood education by engaging with educators and caretakers across the state. Arizona PBS is the administrative home for the registry, which offers professional development and college scholarships to those in the field.
“We are helping them through the process of learning how to navigate the workforce registry, and applying for scholarships,” Lisa Ann said, noting that most people are surprised when they learn about the availability of the scholarships. “And, it’s all digital, so we have to educate them on how to navigate the system.”
Her position is funded by First Things First, an organization that supports educational enrichment for children in their first five years of life. First Things First is another recurring player in Lisa Ann’s life, as it supported her return to the workforce, at the Phoenix Public Library, after staying home when her kids were young. “It came full circle,” she said.
Beyond the registry, Sepulveda also supports other grant programs for educators, particularly for those in low-income communities. “I’m wearing a lot of hats,” she said.
By Lisa Van Loo
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Arizona PBS magazine.