Meta Bodewes

Meta moved to Northwest Arkansas from San Diego in 2017 with her family, and like many people, fell in love with the area.

Meta has Masters degrees in Social Work and Public Administration and spent 10 years working in the Bronx, NY managing programs that preserve and strengthen families. An important part of the work was helping parents communicate and collaborate with schools around the specific needs of their children, and to help them become strong advocates for their children’s success. Meta is thrilled to bring her experience managing programs, working with databases, and supporting families in New York City and San Diego to RootED Northwest Arkansas.

Arisbeth Johnson “La Ticher”

Director of Family Engagement

I was born in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. My passion for learning and education came from my father Dr. Wilmer García Silva, who was an Obstetrician, Forensics doctor and university professor. He died when I was 19, the same day I started my university classes to become an attorney. He is my greatest example of a complete human being, who struggled but was disciplined in overcoming and humility. After his death, I thought I could not finish without him guiding my education, but I overcame and became a lawyer. I continued studying and graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Social Sciences; allowing me to be a teacher in Mexico for 14 years. Constant growth has allowed me to earn various diplomas, publish publications and a National Learning Award in 2013.

When I came to the United States, I felt a little frustrated not being able to work in favor of education. I felt that my country needed professionals passionate about education, but I was in a country that was not mine. The opportunity of my life came, to work in RootED NWA. Today, I understand why I love so much belonging to this organization, it is not only because I am passionate about education, it is because I understand how necessary it is, that parents promote and guide the academic life of their children. Today, I understand that I work in another country but serving my people by helping them understand education options in Northwest Arkansas.

Judith A. Yanez

Judith A. Yanez, Founder & Executive Director

Founder & Executive Director

As a daughter of immigrant parents and as a single mother, I relied on the support of my Northwest Arkansas community to help me navigate educational systems. It was through this support that I was able to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Arkansas. After graduation, I served as a mathematics teacher at Springdale High School and Haas Hall Academy in Bentonville. It wasn’t until I earned my Master’s degree and served as a teacher that I was able to help my own children become exceptional students. I was able to help them identify as learners and find the educational environments that met their unique needs.

Prior to establishing RootED Northwest Arkansas, I served as the Education Program Manager at the Cisneros Center for New Americans. My work at the Cisneros Center allowed me to meet hardworking parents. Parents that did not have an education beyond elementary school, resources, or support to make confident decisions for their child’s education. These parents reminded me of my parents. This experience helped me identify my passion and purpose to help families become confident advocates for their child’s education. Opening the doors to educational options and strong foundations in education that will continue for generations to come.