When I met Johanna Ocampo, owner of Fasttrack-Languages, here are a few things I noticed about her:
Her Drive and Dedication - She undertakes a number of projects while remaining fully focused on each and she truly cares about the people that work for her.
Her Passion - She clearly loves what she does in her career.
Her Intelligence - She speaks two languages that I know of, runs a successful business while starting another, and has side projects.
Her Smile - She is a little serious when you first meet her and you can tell she is scoping the situation. Once she relaxes and joins the fun, her smile is infectious and her eyes shine.
Her Hair - She has gorgeous, dark brown (maybe black) flowing curls and as a curly lady myself, automatic bonding happens.
Ocampo believes in love, friendship, peace, passion, loyalty, commitment, and education. These all shine through when you meet, work, or just say hello to her.
So why did Ocampo start a language program for children? She actually didn’t have a plan to open a program — prior to starting the language program, she was working at a language school in NYC and, “The owner of the school didn’t like that my students were learning Spanish so fast and asked me to slow down and prolong the lessons a bit more. I realized my teaching method worked effectively, my students were happy, and they were using language confidently. By the time I was finishing the semester, a few students asked me if I could continue teaching them and I said yes. One of those students was a graphic designer and he helped me to start the first site for Fasttrack-Languages.” And that is how Fasttrack-Languages began.
“My definition of language goes beyond the common concept people have of this word. Language is a huge umbrella that covers any means of communication we use to express our feelings, emotions, and thoughts. Dancing, music, art, verbal language, you name it! What makes language so interesting is the beauty of using it with or without words. It is beautiful to be able to understand a person from a different place and to say what you feel with or without words, through movement, with your body, your hands. It is special and magical to communicate with others,” explained Ocampo. If you have ever been to a foreign country and don’t speak the language, communication has to become creative.
To dive deeper into Fasttrack-Languages, their “mission is to support children and adults to grow in communication. The world can be explored through languages: verbal and non-verbal. English, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Math, Music, Dance, Gymnastics, etc. These are all means we use to communicate our feelings, emotions, and ideas. We foster an environment where students learn their chosen language, different cultures, and start exploring a bigger world,” shared Ocampo. They work with every student, personalizing the curriculum depending on the need of the individual. “In our program we take our student’s strengths - helping them to develop any skill they want or need to develop in their own growing journey,” said Ocampo.
Ocampo brought her school to Jersey City after teaching at a number of schools in Jersey City and falling in love with the city. “I have had the opportunity to share with the community, children, and parents in different experiences, activities, events, and environments. They have embraced me as an educator and a friend,” explained Ocampo. She has lived in Jersey City for seven years, starting in The Heights. She loved living on Sherman Place with its beautiful trees and houses. She currently lives downtown on a boat in Liberty Marina. She loves sailing and being surrounded by nature. Since she lives next to Liberty State Park, she takes advantage of the running paths and takes in the beauty of the park during her yoga and meditation practices. To Ocampo, Jersey City feels like home.
What inspires her to continue to grow, develop and expand? “Life itself inspires me to grow the different programs in my school. Just look around then look at yourself, see what you have in your heart, and follow it. It will inspire you and lead you to create infinite things,” said Ocampo.
We asked her to share with us what advice she gives to her students. Below are some simple but amazing mantras, inspirations, and cheerleading to get us through and inspire us:
Follow your heart
Yes you can
Do your best
Never give up
Mistakes are good, it means you are trying
You are getting there
One more time
It is ok to cry
It is ok to feel frustrated
Once you are ready, try again, and again.
I am here with you.
You are not alone, we are never alone
One more thing, Let’s be present in every single step we take in our lives. Don’t miss out!
I think I am going to print these out and put them at my desk as a reminder that we all have a support team and there are people like Ocampo who are inspirations to us all. Passion, dedication, love, and education flow through everything Ocampo does. It is no surprise that her program has received such positive reviews.
They have classes for children and adults.
Number: 201-685-8220 / 718-825-6598
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FTLJC/
Photos provided by Fasttrack Languages