From parenting to teaching to coaching, Virginia Dimas has done it all

Virginia Dimas (middle) and her son’s Eddie (left) and Alfredo (right) participating in Southwest Human Development’s Walk With Me event

Virginia Dimas is a wife, dedicated mother of two and a proud Arizona State University graduate. Dimas and her family journeyed from their roots in Acapulco, Mexico, arriving in Arizona in 1991 as strangers in a new land seeking a better life.

In 1996, Dimas discovered Southwest Human Development’s Head Start program. Because her oldest son was, at the time, too young for the Head Start program, Virginia made a pivotal decision to become a parent volunteer so her son could attend the classes—a temporary role that fatefully turned into a career.

Within her first year volunteering in the Head Start classroom, Dimas eagerly participated in a family literacy class as a student and began taking her first English classes. During the same time, her son was taking his first English classes.

A few years later, while pursuing an associate’s degree at Central Arizona College, Dimas was offered the opportunity to work as a child development specialist in her own Head Start classroom.

“I am very blessed for the opportunity that Southwest Human Development has given me as a parent and as a professional,” said Dimas. “They’ve provided me with many opportunities to grow and expand my knowledge in early childhood education.”

As she embarked on her new career path, her educational momentum continued.

In 2009, Dima’s graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in arts and education and an emphasis in early childhood education.

Dimas Graduation, 2009

Dimas’ ASU Graduation, 2009

In Dima’s more than 20 years working with Southwest Human Development, she’s worked as a volunteer, Head Start teacher, child development assistant, bilingual specialist for children with disabilities, and inclusion coach for the agency’s Early Childcare and Education Inclusion Program.

Her two sons mirror her ambition, pursuing their goals for success. Eddie, Dimas’ oldest son, graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in Christian studies and strength and conditioning, and is working as strength and conditioning coach while taking classes for his master’s degree in public health. Her youngest son, Alfredo, is an Arizona State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.

The goals she achieved, she said, wouldn’t be possible without the love and support she got from her family, community and those at Southwest Human Development who believed in her. Dimas recalls the common denominator of the roles she has played in the organization.

“In every program I have been a part of I’ve seen the passion and professionalism of all my co-workers. I have learned from them,” said Dimas. “I am committed to have the same vision of Southwest Human Development, which is to provide a positive future for every child.”