Valenciá De’La Clay-Bell considers herself becoming a garden scholar as she is currently a research student, studying the science of human-growth and development.
She is a New York native and Morgan State University alumna, who spent 13 years serving in public schools, working to undo the many myths and misconceptions that today's youth had to buy for the price of their knowledge. She taught 8th grade learners, during the day, and trained pre-service teachers, as a professor of critical literacy, at night. As a teacher of humanities, she did her best to develop student literacy skills before matriculating them to the next grade but found herself continuously advocating for equitable learning conditions within the school system. As a result, today, Valenciá is repurposing her advocacy to working outside of the school system, researching and designing reading-alternative practices and policies to support the needs of people who appear unmotivated during learning experiences. She has seen firsthand how creative-learners can experience inattentive behaviors due to academic boredom, fear of failure, anxiety, and negative thinking during independent learning experiences, and aims to continue working with the school system to support self-regulatory learning practices to engage students within in the traditional classroom.
She is also propagating an INDIE teachers community as a brave space for independent educators to build their visions, in collaboration with their communities and her mentorship as reliable guidance. During her time as a National Geographic Fellow, she was able to experience success and gain invaluable exposure from having a one on one mentor who supported her in earning her Nat Geo Educator Certification. This inspired Valenciá to carry the torch to light the way for other educators who may need mentorship as they begin an independent teaching practice.
Separate from the consulting and mentoring services she is providing, Valenciá is in the beginning phases of her doctoral research program at Johns Hopkins University. Her concentration is Mind, Brain, and Teaching. She has future plans to develop interventions to provide equitable access to independent-learning tools for youth ages 18-24 who choose not to attend college and experience creative barriers on their independent-learning journey.
Valenciá is also the author of “Soundless Cries Don’t Lead to Healing: A Critical Thinking Guide to Cultural Consciousness” and the upcoming book, “Everything Sheds: A Day-Planner for Procrastinators.” Her new book draws inspiration from her own experience as an EdD student at Johns Hopkins University, managing her dissertation studies with the traumatic events unfolding in her own life. In writing this book and documenting her own creative journey on Instagram, she has developed a budding Instagram community, curating productivity spaces for creative adults looking to develop mechanisms for dealing with procrastination.
Prior to curating the services for procrastinators, Valenciá served as a co-founding leader of various nonprofit organizations with programs that included youth led mentoring services, international art experiences of cultural exchange, and charitable networking events for millennials.
Above being an avid reader, writer, creator, educator, and mental-health advocate, Valenciá is a symbol of liberation who plans to continue innovating and impacting education, from her heart to the world, for years to come.
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