School of Education
Bernarda Tarré Romero
Hometown: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Majors: Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Special Education and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Expected Graduation: 2019
Since arriving at Loyola, Bernarda has been on the Dean’s List. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and in 2017 was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu. She is passionate about early childhood education, especially early intervention, assessment, and applied research.
An active campus life, leadership experience, and volunteerism—that can be traced back to her childhood in her native Ecuador where she served in nonprofits for children with special needs —bolsters her academic performance. While at Loyola, Bernarda has been a math coach at the GEAR UP Algebra Boot Camp for Chicago middle schoolers and a leader for the Loyola 360 freshman retreat, and she has worked with young children with special needs as a volunteer for Misericordia.
Here, Bernarda talks about her passion for early intervention, working with children with special needs, and her call to serve disadvantaged populations.
What was the most meaningful volunteer, service, or student organization activity you’ve been involved in? How has it influenced you or shaped you as a person?
I look back on my time teaching math to middle schoolers quite fondly. I tried to motivate students to go out, dream big, and work hard to make those dreams a reality. But my time at Misericordia reaffirmed my passion to work with children with special needs and allowed me to interact with families at a much more personal level than at schools. This has given me deeper insight into how children’s home and school experiences influence each other. Witnessing kids’ learning as they grow has been incredibly rewarding. It is eye-opening to see these children thrive despite the challenges they face, and it is such a gift to be a part of their journey.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your Jesuit education?
Social justice. I remember a childhood full of conversations about justice and community service. At Loyola, this developed into a serious commitment to giving myself to others through an increased awareness of social responsibility. Today, I feel called to act in service, respect, and advocacy of others’ rights, especially disadvantaged and underserved populations. I think this personal responsibility and initiative stems from a deep belief of not owning anything. All I have is made best when put in service to others for the greater glory of God. If we all learned to selflessly give what we have, what we know, our talents and skills to others, the world would be a much more peaceful place.
What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?
In addition to teaching, I want to be an advocate for early childhood. I wish to find better approaches to diagnosis and interventions for children with special needs early on, so that their entire life experience benefits from these services. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to apply my passion for special education in the Ecuadorian education system. There’s a huge umbrella of possibilities, and I’m excited to see where I end up. All the experiences I’ve had at Loyola have led to this point: the good, the bad, the happy, and the sad. It’s been an absolutely amazing journey, and I’m confident that in the future, when I look back, these will stand out as four of the most important years of my life.