This month’s editorial for the people that “echo” in Santa Cruz County selected Nisa Talavera Last month, she was one of the key players that helped to bring the Jessie Lewis Choose Love Enrichment Program to Santa Cruz County. Nisa Talavera and Heidi Pottinger both founded the local non-profit organization CHARM (Child Health and Resilience Mastery). The mission of the non-profit is to empower children and families to strengthen their resilience in health-promoting ways.
CHARM has partnered with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Enrichment Program. The “ Choose Love” movement was introduced to the community by CHARM (Child Health and Resilience Mastery). The “Choose Love” global movement started after Scarlett’s 6-year-old son Jesse was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary. Scarlett Lewis is nationally recognized for her global movement teaching “Nurturing, Healing, Love” to help create safer schools and communities. This global movement is in all 50 states and in DC, as well as 80 plus countries worldwide.
“We were excited to bring the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Enrichment Program to Arizona! It has been by far one of my most treasured accomplishments. We are now the Arizona Ambassadors for Choose Love and I could not be more thrilled about all of the progress we have made here in Santa Cruz County. As a resident, mother and business owner in Santa Cruz County, I’m so pleased to know that our community was able to receive this amazing gift,” said Nisa Talavera Co-founder and Vice Chairman of CHARM.
This unique program was introduced to Superintendent Kathy Romero at Little Red School House. Ms. Romero immediately was on board with the program. She was a key factor in implementing the program across the entire school (K-8). Little Red School was the first pilot school in Arizona for the program.
Nisa, Heidi, and Kathy spent a lot of time presenting the program to county officials, Nogales Rotary Club, Lions Club, and the Mariposa Community Health Centers. “The old saying It takes a village to raise a child”, nothing could be more accurate. Every child belongs to us as a community. The responsibility to help and teach our children to be resilient belongs to each of us,” said Nisa.
“Everyone has been amazed and excited about the program and have been looking for ways to implement it. The County Superintendent Alfredo Velasquez was one of our first stops. He has been instrumental in assisting us to spread the word with all the county educators. We were invited to and spoke at the monthly SI meeting hosted at the county building. From that meeting, we have received several requests from other schools to come and present specifically to their own district teachers. The response has been amazing! I truly believe this is a gift for our community. The Choose Love Enrichment Program is a comprehensive, NO COST, program that we all can learn and benefit from. It is like no other that I have seen before. Our goal is to hopefully have EACH and EVERY school in Santa Cruz County CHOOSING LOVE,” said Nisa.
About 5 years ago, Nisa Talavera and her daughters moved to Nogales, so she could be close to her parents who were battling cancer. After her parents passed away, she made the decision to take over her parent’s business the Hacienda Corona B&B. It is a thriving bed & breakfast and event venue inside the Guevavi Ranch. Nisa Talavera found a place of peace and happiness for herself and children that they share with the community.
“ It has not always been easy, and it still presents its challenges each day, but it is by far one the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made. I’m working harder now in my life than I ever have before, but it’s worth it when it is yours. I have love in my life and a wonderful support system around here,” said Nisa Talavera.
“I am deeply grateful to our community for their overwhelming support. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. A special thank you to Alfredo Velasquez Santa Cruz County Superintendent and his office for their unwavering support. I would also like to thank Kathy Romero Superintendent and everyone at Little Red School. The teachers work tirelessly to create a loving and safe place where children can thrive and learn. Thank you to my beautiful family, Mina, Rayne, and Jeffrey for always showing love. Thank you, Heidi Pottinger, for being my partner in crime,” said Talavera.