• IDRA Newsletter • November-December 2016 •

Meet Sulema Carreón-Sánchez, Ph.D., Senior Education Associate

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

Sulema with her mother, Josefa Carreon

Sulema with her mother, Josefa Carreon

Dr. Sulema Carreón-Sánchez was born a fourth generation migrant worker. She and her parents, three brothers, and sister used to travel yearly seeking work in the fields of the Panhandle of Texas. Working hard mostly in the cotton fields taught Sulema to persevere in school as well. All of her siblings graduated from the Edgewood School District in San Antonio – Sulema from Memorial High School. She has been married for 40 years and has three children and four adored grandchildren.

Sulema’s 40 years in education include working at the Texas Education Agency, IDRA, and at Edgewood, Somerset, Northside, and San Antonio school districts. Her life’s devotion has mostly been in working with at-risk students particularly in the area of bilingual education, helping students who, like her, were second language learners living in poverty.

For the past five years, Sulema has spent time researching her family’s past and has discovered she has roots from California to Texas and from Montana to Guanajuato, Mexico. This research reflects her family’s past, a result of their migrant life, and relatives who have settled throughout the United States. When she is not at her grandchildren’s sporting events, Sulema is spending time with her 85-year-old mother, who still drives a car and who continues the tradition of cooking delicious meals for the family. Sulema’s father always said, “Cuando la vida parezca difícil, inténtalo una vez más [When life seems difficult, try one more time].” This legacy has carried Sulema throughout life, from her migrant childhood through to her devotion to education.

[©2016, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the November-December 2016 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]