Karina Elze grew up in Colombia, and is the first in her family to attend college. While working as a paraprofessional at Emerson Spanish Immersion, her commitment to teaching and learning was recognized by school leaders and Karina was selected for the first cohort of CEHD’s “Grow Your Own” program. After graduating and working in the Minneapolis School District for a few years, Karina took a leap of faith and left the district to open her own school, Academia Elze, a Spanish immersion child care center in Minneapolis. Since then, she has focused on growing her center and supporting others from her own community. Karina has become a role model and leader both here and in Colombia, sharing her experience and resources to support others entering the field of early childhood.
Founder/owner of Academia Elze
Master of Education
Founded an independent and successful preschool. Graduated two separate classes of preschoolers to kindergarten. Published a children’s book, Christmas without a Fireplace in both English and Spanish. Became a trainer for early education professionals.
Going to Mexico with Marina and learning about immigration and the injustice happening at the border.
Marina Aleixo. She inspired me to help my community.
I was the first person in my immediate family to graduate university and now I inspired my nieces and nephews to break the circle of poverty in my immediate family.
Understanding equity, privilege, and the ability to communicate in a global world.
My favorite workout, Kinrgy X.
A person who likes to learn about everything.
Christmas without a Fireplace/Navidad sin Chimenea.
I would have tea with Policarpa Salavarrieta.
Watching the children learn and grow and of course their hugs.