Valori Lyles of Los Angeles California was not always set out to be a teacher. After earning her B.A. in communications from Howard University in Washington D.C., she began working in radio advertising sales in LA and San Diego. However, her weekend volunteer experience tutoring young teenage girls helped her realize her true calling, and she decided she wanted to enter the field of education. She then began working in Public Information for the L.A. Unified School District and due to her past volunteer experience and excellence in this position, she was thus selected to head a program sponsored by a private college just outside LA that offers guidance to at-risk youths. Valori Lyles continued her own education as well, earning a master’s degree in Behavioral Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and earned her J.D. from Mercer University in Georgia. While attending law school law school, she co-founded a program in conjunction with the Juvenile Court system and the Department of Family and Children’s Services that was dedicated to offering training and life-counseling to first-time, non-violent youth offenders.
Valori Lyles: Travel
While education is a cause that is very important to Valori, she has a passion for travel as well. Wanting the opportunity to pursue this passion more frequently, Valori became a language arts teacher, and taught in public schools for ten years. She took a leave from teaching in order to further pursue her passion of traveling, and decided to travel in Central and South America. She wanted to experience Latin culture and immerse herself in the language in order to develop conversational skills. Similarly, she was interested in visiting and spending time on some of the world’s best beaches, photographing them and her experiences of them. She began her travels in Costa Rica because of their solid infrastructure and stability; she viewed it as a safe haven in which she could further her own global exposure. She found herself drawn to and able to relate to the concept of “Pura Vida,” or, “Pure Life,” embraced by the Costa Rican people. She initially started her travels in the beach town of Samara and was surprised to find so many non-Costa Ricans residing there on both a temporary and permanent basis. She continued on to San Pedro, a suburb of San Jose in the Vargas Araya/Sabanilla neighborhood, and currently, calls it her home.
Valori Lyles travels within Central America as much as possible. She has traveled to numerous countries, such as Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica. Similarly, she has also had the opportunity to tour South Africa and Canada. Valori is especially interested in using her background in education and travel to benefit African American and Hispanic Cultures in the U.S., and she intends to return to the USA and develop extra-curricular programs for minority youth with a focus on global and multi-cultural issues, using her learned experiences in Central America to aid her in this undertaking.