Assistant Mentor for the Ruby Class & Lead Mentor for Freedom Fridays.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Gia Bendandi spent most her life working and traveling abroad throughout South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. As a life long learner, her journey has been one of knowledge, compassion and awareness. Throughout her travels she studied human development, early childhood education, global diversity, holistic education, and nature based learning.
Determined to make a difference and find her unique and authentic path in life, Giabegan teaching at Hamro Ghar, a home for former child carpet labors in Kathmandu, Nepal. Witnessing the transformation of a child rescued from oppression and given the gift of education, was unforgettable. It was here that Gia became aware of how priceless education truly is. Thus began her teaching journey, and a passion to make the gift of education accessible to children from all walks of life.
While working at the Nepal Disabled Association, a school for physically challenged children, and assisting at a facility for the mentally challenged, Gia witnessed the power of music; a language any child can understand. With a deep love for the arts, she regularly integrated them into her classroom lessons, and included art therapy in her mentoring.
Upon arriving to the US, Gia taught in both Montessori, and holistic, nature based schools. Her offerings included Assistant Montessori guide, upcycle art educator, electives specialist, sewing teacher, apothecary guide, teachers aid for special needs students, lead aftercare facilitator, substitute teacher, and Camp Indigo counselor.
Today, as an assistant mentor at the Whole Life Learning Center, she focuses her efforts on working with her inspired team to make the ordinary come alive, to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn, and encourage them to pursue their passions and develop their skills. Gia's unique experiences offer many opportunities in the classroom to discover the world, and broaden the children’s knowledge of countries and cultures. Passionate about exploring the planet we live in, Gia ignites this curiosity into the lives of those she teaches, creating a love of diversity, equality, and a celebration of humankind.
Gia's goal is to create a unique learning opportunity for her students; A holistic approach to learning, honoring the natural development of the child. Encouraging the child to think, innovate, explore and engage as they learn through heart, mind, body and spirit. She brings laughter, joy, compassion and a love of learning to the classroom.
As a life long learner, Gia is passionate about continuing her education and professional development. But without doubt, her best teachers have been the kids she has worked with. They challenge her to grow, yet never lose her sense of wonder, or the child within.
Gia feels incredibly blessed to be a part of the Whole Life Learning Center community. When not spending time with her WLLC family, she enjoys adventures with her son, exploring the great outdoors, floating the river, or traveling someplace new.