What is EPN?
The Educator's Professional Network, is a nonprofit professional organization founded as a Community Development Initiative. Educators have a call to represent the positive aspects of the purpose in life. Local EPN groups are formed by educators who want to participate in a faith-based meeting that focuses on the positive attributes and ethical practices of successful teaching and literature that gives insight to these attributes.
Educators and others in this field of employment spend more time at work than anywhere else. However, just because they go to work doesn't mean they've left their worries at home. Anxieties crowd out focused work time. Hospital visits create mounting unpaid days off. Illness and death devastate families and burden employees with skyrocketing health care costs. Employees aren't the only ones who suffer during crisis. Time after time, school administrators repeat stories of inadequate workplace support programs and feelings of being overwhelmed. EPN brings supportive and prayerful care and compassion to the workplace, where it is needed most, and where it can make a meaningful difference. EPN can care for those who need a trusted objective friend and confidant, and those who can't bear their burdens alone anymore because of our hands on approach of involvement. We are thankful to be part of a divine vision to potentially spread education based care giving involvement that will reach all cultures and nations.
EPN Inc.’s vision is to be a leading advocate for Educators and others in the Education Profession by developing mutual cooperation between cultures in the Education Profession.
EPN’s Mission is to provide support to area public and private schools by promoting the encouragement and understanding of a faith based community, through inspiring dialogue, the support and maintenance of civil liberties, and the building of faith based coalitions that promote impartiality and mutual understanding.
At EPN Inc. our mission is also to "build caring relationships with the hope of changing the 'climate' of each school to a positive and purposeful culture." Since 1996, Educator's Professional Network has been prayerfully supporting educators in order to help them cope with personal and professional life issues. EPN leaders build relationships with their peers and other employees, provide objective, confidential, 24/7 care, divine encouragement and crisis support. All relationships are permission-based and completely confidential, so the employee is in charge of how deep and to what extent the relationship will grow.
Since 1976, the founders of EPN Inc., Jose' and Marla Barreda have been involved in cultural outreach and reconciliation development through humanitarian, church building and evangelism that involved street mime’s, music and sports.
In the mid-1990s, José and Marla felt called to make a difference in bringing young people to understand the importance of restoring honor in their homes and schools through a Faith Based foundation. It was while working in a local church as associate pastors that they received a vision to reach every child, teen and young adult. HOW? Well, this was a process.
They began looking for ways to support the efforts of those who feel lead to enter into the Educational Profession, not only to teach, but to make a difference in the lives of the youth of this generation. They were invited to help in a school outreach through a science teacher at Hudson High School, Mrs. Yvonne Whatley. At one of her teacher’s prayer breakfasts, the Lord launched the vision of EPN Inc. and how it could be used to reach youth in schools through the educators.
THE EPN YOUTH PASTOR’S NETWORK INVOLVEMENT WITH CITY OUTREACH.
Along with the Sports Network, Prayer Network and Counseling Network, EPN was contacted in 1998 to help the Billy Graham Crusade and later in 1999 to assist in an outreach to every school through Harvest Evangelism’s founder, Ed Silvoso and Somebody Cares Tampa Bay. EPN was involved in reaching over 70 thousand youth that attended the Crusades.
In 1998 Jose was also a guest in Argentina where he actually saw how schools could be reached using a Pro-Active approach with a Faith Based initiative. He began in early 2000 to offer backing to two schools that wanted to have community support from local businesses, individuals, churches and community groups. The implementation of EPN in a school involved a 5 step process developed to offer service and support to those in the Education Profession. EPN adapted it involvement according to the needs of each individual community. EPN has had at one time a network that involved 23 schools, in the public and private sectors.
Before becoming a member of the board of EPN, each participant was involved in some facet of EPN. The board consists of 9 members that are voted in to help in the administration of EPN. Their responsibility includes insuring that those in leadership are accountable to the code of ethics and by laws of Educator’s Professional Network Inc. All of the trustees are volunteers having a variety of work experiences, such as: working in and leading open education projects, working in universities, having been officers in the military, having been involved in international humanitarian and spiritual endeavors, business owners, accounting and logistic developers in construction, or having worked for nonprofits and in city government. Note that this broad diversity is quite unusual for a nonprofit. Most often the boards of major charities are made up mainly of large donors, who have an interest in seeing their money spent well. Our board, in contrast, is directly representative of the people who are involved and are passionate to see a generation become a positive culture.
The Board's primary role is to hire and evaluate the Executive Director of EPN Inc. who in turn leads the corporation activities, which include providing the infrastructure for all EPN projects. This means giving the director guidance and feedback throughout the year.