Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Alejandra (Ale) Linares, director at Play and Learn School (PALS) of Wyoming. PALS just recently opened in downtown Rock Springs at 538 Pilot Butte Ave. Ste. 1. Ale has spent her entire life around kids and has a real passion for helping to instill them with the knowledge and skills to grow into their full potential.
Ale’s hometown is Green River, and she is thrilled to be back home serving the community she loves. She spent some time in Rawlins and Saratoga while gaining professional experience with child care before returning to Sweetwater County. She is excited to work with the children throughout Sweetwater County and give back to the community that helped raise her.
Ale, what do you do for a living?
I am the director at Play and Learn School (PALS) of Wyoming, which recently opened in Rock Springs in August. As director I get to help out with a lot of the behind the scene operations at PALS and make sure that the facility is running smoothly as well as get to be a part of the everyday fun and learning.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I’m honored to be in this position because I have a direct influence on the youngest and most impressionable minds. Children are precious and I love knowing that when they enter our facility, they will be cared for and given every chance to grow and learn.
How did you get into child care?
I grew up in a huge family and have been surrounded by children and babies for as long as I can remember. My mom has been in education for over 20 years and three of my sisters have all opened their own facilities at some point in different places in Wyoming. When I was 15 I started spending my summers working at my oldest sister’s preschool and daycare in Rawlins, Wyoming and realized my passion for kids. At 21 I had the opportunity to move to Saratoga, Wyoming and become the assistant director of a brand new facility, and started the infant and toddler program at that facility from the ground up.
How did you end up in Green River?
Currently I am living in Green River, which is my hometown and I am beyond thrilled to be back to my roots and giving back to the community that gave me so much growing up.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
There are so many things I love about our community, but my favorite is probably the people. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been blown away by the people in our community who’ve come together to help support and lift each other up for whatever the reason. We still have the sense of community where people are still willing to embrace togetherness by supporting small businesses, fundraising and coming together for community events.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love spending time with my ever growing family and my two dogs Baxter and Kodiak. I also enjoy baking and cake decorating when I have the chance especially for all of my nieces and nephews’ birthdays.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
One of my favorite pieces of advice, which has served me well in life both professionally and personally would be: Do what is right, not what’s easy; your strength of character will lead you to do the right thing even when there are easier options out there.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
I think my favorite place in Sweetwater County is probably Expedition Island. I have always found so much peace and happiness while walking the green belt around the Island.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about yourself?
I would love to see Anna Kendrick play me in real life because I think she is so talented, funny and down to earth, and doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously.
What would you sing at karaoke?
For karaoke my song of choice would have to be “Baby Shark”.
How would your friends describe you?
I think my friends would tell you that I was meant to be in a classroom full of littles.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
One of my proudest accomplishments would have to be becoming the director of PALS and being able to play a small part in helping shape our future through growing minds.
What is something unique about you?
Something unique about me would be that I was born on the same day as my nephew so we are only a few hours apart, actually I was born in a van on the way to go visit him.
Why do you choose to live in Wyoming?
I choose to live in Wyoming because it’s home, and it’s where my heart is. I appreciate Wyoming for the beauty, the freedom, the acceptance and the opportunities we have here.