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Dr. Caban is working on a personal project in memory of her mother who lost her battle with cancer in April 2012. She is working with Director Joe Negron on a documentary film featuring her mother’s story as a battered woman that migrated in the 1960’s from Puerto Rico to New York City. The documentary “La Casa de Maria Contra la Violencia Domestica” will premiere in the Spring of 2022. It will share the story of how Dr. Caban visits her mother’s Puerto Rican childhood roots and seeks to fix the retirement home that her mother Maria never had the chance to enjoy. Dr. Caban’s dream is to develop a cultural arts cafe in her mother’s former home to share domestic violence awareness events with the local women of Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. CASA DE MARIA INFORMATION
HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH: GUATEMALAN ORPHANS
Dr. Vilma Caban served as an executive board member and advocacy researcher for a grassroots humanitarian organization, Social Changers without Borders, Inc. In this former role, Dr. Caban worked with a core team of humanitarian research scholars which included Walden University Alumni, faculty, and students promoting positive social change around the world.On behalf of Social Changers without Borders (SCWB) Dr. Caban-Vazquez traveled with a research team to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
The goal was to conduct a Pro-Bono program evaluation of the grassroots organization Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc. The program expenditure of this SCWB in-kind research service can typically cost a non-profit NGO over 30,000 dollars to commission this in-depth evaluation. This capacity-building tool and evaluative service can enable, offer, and vet diagnostic systems that can aid this grassroots organization in reflecting and refining their organizational mission, goals, and organizational practices. Ultimately, an in-depth program inventory can help maximize Proyecto Mi Hogar’s impact on not just the lives of Guatemalan at-risk children and orphans, but also the lives of so many children indifferently labeled in the global news media as…“Los niños de la frontera”.
Dr. Caban-Vazquez’s study and program evaluation is centered on the fundamental and socio-economic global aspects that make Proyecto Mi Hogar an exemplary grassroots organization. There are many organizations working hard to serve needy children. However, many times they function as isolated sources of relief without research proven methods or community outreach systems for creating sustainable and lasting impact in the lives of those at-risk youth. The efforts and effective practices of Proyecto Mi Hogar can serve not only as a noteworthy and replicable example for the larger global community, but this stellar and effective organization can continue to shed light on the plight of the forgotten Guatemalan street children and orphans. Moreover, this program structure assessment and refinement process can favorably position this new international NGO to effectively compete and obtain sizable grants from diverse international foundations and United Nation grant funds.
ABANDONED STREET CHILDREN & ORPHANS IN MOROCCO
In July 2013, Dr. Caban-Vazquez served as an international volunteer for Cross-Cultural Solutions, which is a non-profit organization serving abandoned street children and orphans in Rabat, Morocco. As a humanitarian researcher, her vision was to explore the international phenomena of the invisible and forgotten children. Vilma’s heart was transformed by the tender moments that she shared with the sick children that she served. While observing the compassionate international volunteers and the various staff on the field, she was inspired to formally launch an advocacy study centered on this societal problem.
Afterwards in the Fall of 2013 and the Spring of 2014, she had the great pleasure of collaborating with several Moroccan humanitarians that joined her in a quest to examine the plight of Moroccan street children and orphans. As strong advocates of women and children, they joined their public-spirited gifts to collaboratively research and share effective community-based and international humanitarian strategies. The goal is to publish research-proven strategies that make a significant impact for improving the quality of lives for these impoverished children.
With the support of SOCIAL CHANGERS WITHOUT BORDERS, INC as well as several NGO’s and private sponsors, this determined researcher will continue to examine the complex issues related to the abuse and tragic circumstances that Moroccan street children face as victims of child labor and sexual trafficking.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
On April 2, 2012 Vilma lost her beloved mother Maria to her brief battle with cancer. As a result, she chose a cause that would commemorate Maria’s legacy. Prior to her mother’s death, Vilma was working on a research article, “The Latina Project: Using the Educational Path to Break the Silence of Domestic Abuse” which reported key issues related to domestic abuse among Latina immigrants, and the importance of opening educational pathways that release and support the lives of children living with domestic violence. Consequently, in August 2012 with the help of her dear friend Loida, who served as the former Dominican Republic UN Consulate General, and a modest sum of donations in her mother’s name, Vilma set out to make a difference in a rural town that reminded her so much of her mom’s small town in Puerto Rico. Initially, she wanted to launch the study in Puerto Rico, but emotionally it was too soon to deal with this close topic in her mother’s hometown. So Vilma traveled to the impoverished town of Bonao within the Alta Gracia Province of the Dominican Republic. In August of 2013, Vilma went back to launch a follow-up economic empowerment program for the 2012 research study participants. With the help of Social Changers without Borders, local/regional senators, councilmen, community advocates and other dignitaries of this rural town, Vilma conducted empowerment workshops and trainings that equipped the women to create a School Uniform Cooperative. This seed project established the foundation for a future micro-enterprise project for these battered women. http://www.gofundme.com/VIOLENCIA-DOMESTICA
KENYA: CHILD BRIDES
FLEEING FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM)
Throughout the summer of 2011, Dr. Caban-Vazquez expanded her advocacy research repertoire with Social Changers without Borders, Inc. by conducting a program evaluation commissioned by Equality Now, Inc. (Nairobi Office). Dr. Caban-Vazquez visited and evaluated a Kenyan girls rescue center utilizing grassroots efforts to save child brides from the dangers of FGM, and offering the rescued girls an education in private schools. Her efforts were recognized in Walden University’s “2012 My Walden Impact” publication. Dr. Caban-Vazquez proudly serves on Walden University’s Public Relations Student Bureau and she continues to seek ways to raise public awareness on pressing educational issues. http://www.waldenu.edu/about/newsroom/publications/articles/2012/01-self-sustaining-social-change
INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADOR WORK
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE & COLLABORATION
In 2007, Vilma traveled abroad with the People to People Ambassador’s Programs to Cambodia, Egypt, and Vietnam wherein she served as a math educational leader, presenter, and delegate. Within this international forum, she engaged in bilateral, educational, and professional exchange with international educational leaders and counterparts.
This international congress offered a platform to examine effective pedagogy and educational reform. As a gesture of professional exchange to the Cambodian, Egyptian, and Vietnamese educational leaders/dignitaries, Vilma presented a teacher training video that she co-produced in collaboration with her home school district—Illuminating Effective Differentiated Instruction Classroom Practices for Math Learning.
Dr. Caban-Vazquez views herself as a global citizen seeking to make a difference in the educational lives of children. She was recognized in several regional and community newsmedia for organizing charity fundraisers with elementary students. Her goal is to empower children to become global ambassadors that promote positive social change.
As an educator for over 20 years, with the honor of touching the lives of thousands of children, Vilma transitioned from many educational and community-based leadership roles. After earning her Masters of Science degree in Mathematics, she served as a math instructional consultant and teacher leader in an urban school system located in the Northeastern part of the United States. Vilma designed research-supported professional development training experiences for educators, educational leaders, local family shelters, and community-based organizations tailored to serve children at risk. Understanding the value of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mantra, to reach one and teach one, Vilma worked as a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at Bank Street College of Education, and Manhattanville College: Graduate School of Education. Her goal was to prepare the next generation of teachers, as well as give novice teachers insight on how the privilege of teaching is a public service that can greatly impact and empower the lives of women and children.
NATIONAL CONSULTATION / VOLUNTEERISM
Her desire was to examine strategies that can offer and create the greatest impact for positive social change. Vilma believed that education was the greatest social equalizer. Consequently, in an effort to support national volunteer literacy initiatives that served underprivileged communities, Vilma served as a national volunteer trainer and educational consultant for various non-profit organizations such as Ameri-Corps, L.E.A.R.N.S. (Linking Education and America Reads through National Service) and V.I.S.T.A. (Volunteers in Service to America). The consulting work, through the Corporation for National Service, sparked an interest to examine national and global issues of socioeconomic and educational disparities.
Within the advocacy research network, Dr. Caban-Vazquez recognizes the power of collaborative inquiry and seeks to work closely with other researchers. In 2010, she served as co-researcher for an educational study/project centered on educational disparities affecting Latinos and the limited number of Latinos in environmental science careers. Subsequently, in 2011 the research findings from this study were presented at the American Educational Research Association National Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
DEFYING THE STATISTICAL ODDS
In February 2011, the news correspondent T.J. Raphael wrote a feature article on Vilma’s international work and the noteworthy accomplishment of a Latina earning a doctorate degree in the United States of America. “Dr. Vilma Caban-Vazquez is one of only about 46,000 Hispanic women in the nation to ever obtain a doctorate degree. According to the Pew Hispanic Research Center, Senior Research Associate Dr. Richard Fry reports that just .4 percent of Latina women ever reach that level of education, making her journey unique.” Dr. Caban-Vazquez does not take all of the credit for that accomplishment because she shares it with all of the inspirational educational leaders who fostered and nurtured her leadership capabilities. They were great women pioneers in the field of education and educational reform. Vilma is indebted to Dr. Vissa, Dr. Klemm, and Dr. Dubitsky.
–Nadie se Mete Entre Problemas Matrimoniales: La Violencia Domestica en la Republica Dominicana. Hortensia Magazine, October 2012. Domestic Violence Columnist for Hortensia Magazine (Dominican Republic)
–Exploring a Supplemental Educational Service Math Program: The Math Achievement of Economically Disadvantaged Students and Teacher Professional Development (Caban-Vazquez, V.) Walden University, 2010, 202 pages; AAT 3433664
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Maria’s Daughter: The Evolution of a Pearl Trapped in Domestic Violence
Vilma shares her mother’s domestic violence story. As the only daughter of a battered woman, she tapped into the power of education to break free from the cycle of domestic violence. In this book, Vilma shares her mother’s legacy of becoming a domestic violence survivor. The book title is “Hija de Maria: El desarrollo de una perla entre las ostras de la violencia doméstica”.
Areas of Research Expertise:
Qualitative case study methodology, instrumental case studies, mixed methods case studies, educational program evaluations, and advocacy research methodology.
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