“I like helping students become more confident about their abilities as they navigate all the learning challenges around them,” said Talia Sledge, who has been a tutor at Bosque School since August 2018. Ms. Sledge helps students in both high school and middle school across all curricular areas, with a focus on organizational strategies, study skills, and task management. “I wanted to become a tutor at Bosque because it is a unique, engaging school environment,” said Ms. Sledge.
Originally from Santa Fe, NM, Ms. Sledge moved to Washington, D.C., to attend American University. There she earned a BA and began her career as a museum and environmental educator. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with the Smithsonian Institution, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, children's museums, private schools, and New Mexico State Parks. She also had the experience of being an at-home parent and a foster care provider for the Children,Youth, and Families Department.
Ms. Sledge says that working at Bosque has been both challenging and fun. She says that as she helps her clients complete their assignments, she learns new things too. With much love for Bosque, she even encouraged her son to join the middle school. She says that he loves it too. Talia expressed, “I am inspired by the dedication and joy that the teachers and staff bring to campus every day. It is humbling to be surrounded by such interesting and impressive colleagues.”
Outside of working at Bosque School, Ms. Sledge enjoys volunteer work. She provides outreach education for the Rio Grande Center State Park (RGNC). “Five years ago, I became a volunteer at the nature center because I love the bosque and engaging learners of all ages in appreciating and preserving the Rio Grande river habitat,” said Ms. Sledge. “At the center, I teach pond ecology programs, lead nature walks, and present the center's educational ‘trunks’ on topics such as bats, reptiles, amphibians, and botany.” She also works on the center's annual macroinvertebrate research project and occasionally helps out at the front desk in the visitor center. Ms. Sledge stated, “Every year, I aim to give 100 hours of volunteer service to the RGNC.”
In the fall of 2019, Ms. Sledge and her husband were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). In this volunteer role, they help children in custody of the Children, Youth, and Families Department by ensuring that safe and permanent living situations are found for the children. They gather information and resources to provide recommendations to judges and also help youth and their caregivers navigate the complicated legal system. “I work one-on-one with everyone involved in an abuse or neglect case as a problem-solver to make sure children have their needs met and have an advocate for their best interests,” Ms. Sledge disclosed. They were inspired to become CASAs after being certified foster parents. As a CASA volunteer, Ms. Sledge aims to serve at least 100 hours in 2020.
When Ms. Sledge is not volunteering or tutoring Bosque students, you can find her watching movies with her husband and two sons, singing karaoke, writing poetry, or exploring the great outdoors. She also loves to cook, but hates doing the dishes. Although she hasn’t played piano since a young girl, Ms. Sledge recently rescued a 1906 Steinway piano from her neighbor’s garage and made a New Year’s resolution to play it every week.