Transforming Lives through Literacy

with Emily Francis

Sponsored by:

Transforming Lives through Literacy with Emily Francis

Book Launch and Fundraiser

When & Where:

November 30, 2022

7:00 pm CDT

Zoom Book Launch & Fundraiser

What it is:

Seidlitz Education, together with ELLevation Education and Inlier Learning are honored to invite you to an online fundraiser to celebrate the launch of If You Only Knew: Letters from an Immigrant Teacher by Emily Francis.

Proceeds from this event will go to Child Aid, an organization working to transform how reading and literacy are taught in Guatemala.


Event Highlights:

Featured Speakers


Emily Francis was born and raised in Guatemala. As the oldest sibling, she was often the caretaker for her younger sisters and brother. After a two month journey to the U.S. with just her siblings and a coyote she was reunited with her mother. At 15 she enrolled in a U.S. high school, where her love of learning and lack of English came to a head. Emily has continuously used her struggles in the U.S. school system as opportunities to pivot and continue moving forward. After earning her Master’s in Teaching ESL, Emily achieved her dream of becoming a teacher!


Arturo Castro is a Guatemalan actor best known for his portrayal of Jaimé Castro on the Comedy Central series Broad City, and David Rodríguez on the Netflix series Narcos. Castro hosted his own show, Conexion, on Guatemala’s national network, a year before moving to New York City. In New York, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and where he met Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and landed the role of Jaimé in Broad City. Castro had one of the leading roles in Ang Lee’s war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, playing Marcellino “Mango” Montoya, a member of Billy Lynn’s Bravo Squad. He has a long philanthropic history of supporting education for youth in his native Guatemala and in the United States. He teaches drama classes in the Bronx at alternative schools to help kids process trauma.


Dr. Jose Luis Zelaya grew up in San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Jose went to work at a young age to help support his family. After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, his mom and sister fled leaving Jose by himself. After living on the streets he decided to make the journey North. Arriving in the U.S. alone, Jose was reunited with his family and enrolled in 7th Grade. He was encouraged by his 7th grade science teacher, Mrs.  Wright, to continue his schooling. Jose did so until he graduated with a PhD in Urban Education from Texas A&M University. He continues to support his community and students through his work with Dr. Zelaya Educational Consulting LLC.