Soroptimists to Honor WNC's Child Development Center Director

May 5, 2023

As a leader in the predominantly women’s field of early childhood development, Anna Lisa Acosta-Rogers has been able to impact the lives of many young women.

Acosta-Rogers has more than 20 years’ experience in early childhood development and has been the director of Western Nevada College’s Childhood Development Center since June 2017. But she impacts more than the young children at the development center; many of her employees at the CDC are young women who are directly impacted by Acosta-Rogers’ concern for their welfare and futures.

“I encourage all staff to take classes to further their education and understanding of early childhood,” said Acosta-Rogers, who will be recognized by Soroptimist International of Carson City’s Celebrating Women Helping Women event as part of LUNAFEST on May 11 at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 449 West King St.

Acosta-Rogers has proudly seen employees go through the TEACH program to obtain a degree. SheAnna Lisa Pumpkin Parade also helps her classified staff receive financial support through the college’s grant-in-aid program.

“I encourage staff to further their education and offer my assistance and support with assignments and anything else they may need to be successful,” she said.

Through her involvement with the Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children, Carson Douglas Early Childhood Advisory Council, and community events, Acosta-Rogers is able to impact and collaborate with other women in Northern Nevada.

“With these roles, I focus on early childhood education, but I also take this as an opportunity to connect with other women in the same field and support in any way that I can,” she said.

Acosta-Rogers’ interest in child care began in college while working as a preschool teacher and after-school caregiver. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in psychology and a minor in Women and Gender studies. 

“I love working with young children and being able to witness and be a part of their development,” she said. “There is so much development at this young stage in life, from social, emotional, physical and so on. Being able to be a part of this growth period for children is so rewarding.”

Under Acosta-Rogers’ direction, the CDC has been recognized by community members as the Nevada Appeal’s Best Child/Day Care Provider for five straight years. She says the center is a great place for women to connect and support one another.

“Parenting is the hardest (most rewarding) job you can have (sometimes in addition to other jobs). No one can do this alone,” said Acosta-Rogers, who has a teenage daughter and son. “So, whether you have a partner, or you are parenting alone, it is our job at the Child Development Center to be there and support. Women are not alone here, we are here. If there are developmental concerns, areas of need, questions, etc. we are here to help, advise, and help them find resources if needed.”

Through her work, associations and community participation, Acosta-Rogers has been influenced by many positive women. However, the No. 1 role model in her life has always been her sister, Martha.

“She is one of the strongest, most self-sufficient women I have ever met. We both had tough childhoods, but we have always been there for each other even when we had no one else. We have maintained a partnership that assures we will be there for one another always to support, cheer, and lift up,” Acosta-Rogers said.

Proceeds from LUNAFEST, which also includes a film festival spotlighting movies created by women, will be donated to educational grants and scholarships, breast cancer care, community service projects and other programs supporting local girls and women.

The CDC and WNC Foundation are in the process of fundraising for new playground equipment to replace existing resources that have become outdated and worn out.

“We use our classrooms and outdoor environment as additional educational resources. By upgrading our outdoor playground, the hope is that children will have additional spaces to play and we learn through play,” Acosta-Rogers said.

The Soroptimist International of Carson City Women Helping Women event is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 11. Tickets are $35 if purchased before May 1 and $40 thereafter. There also is an option to attend the event virtually for $20 per ticket.

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You can help support the Child Development Center by donating to enhance the playground. 


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