I understand the struggle of being in poverty. I want to give families peace of mind by providing the resources that they need and continue closing the gap between young children from low-income and high-income families.
As a first-generation college student, Beverly Dosono’s path to becoming an advocate for underrepresented students started at an early age.
Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in the 1980s determined to achieve a better life and settled in a small, rural town in Eastern Washington populated mainly by other immigrants. Though having little formal education themselves, Dosono’s parents encouraged their daughter to excel in academics.
As a child, Dosono (BA '17, MEd ‘19) recalls wanting to become a teacher. While her parents recognized her passion and were supportive of their daughter’s dream, Dosono’s teachers also encouraged her to explore opportunities in STEM given her aptitude for science and math.
“I felt pulled in two different directions,” Dosono said. “When I first came to the University of Washington, I intended to major in biology [but] that major wasn’t right for me. My second year, I found Early Childhood and Family Studies and knew that was where I belonged.”
After finding her niche in the College of Education’s ECFS major, Dosono soon discovered the Speech and Hearing Sciences program. Following her brother’s advice to take a fifth year of undergraduate study, she started getting involved with research while completing her double degree.
As an undergraduate, Dosono worked with preschoolers in both Jumpstart (a non-profit organization that supports preschoolers from low-income backgrounds with their education) and Kinder Camp (a Woodland Park Zoo summer enrichment program).
The positions gave Dosono an opportunity to observe the significant developmental gap that can exist between children of the same age but from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
“In the Kinder Camp program, there was a 3-year-old who could already read books and speak in full sentences,” she said. “In Jumpstart, I had 5-year-olds who were unable to read at all. It was fascinating to see the impact that family income had on these kids who were so similar in age.”
This year, Dosono is starting her master’s program in learning sciences and human development at the College of Education. Her research will explore the impact of digital media and technological tools on the cognitive development and early literacy of children from low-income and high-income families.
In the future, Dosono hopes to work with underserved populations by becoming an early learning director for a low-income preschool and to continue advocating for all young children to have the educational technology they deserve.
“Personally, I understand the struggle of being in poverty. I want to give families peace of mind by providing the resources that they need and continue closing the gap between young children from low-income and high-income families.”
Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications