Gala Chair Spotlight: Miami Children’s Museum

Longstanding board members Claudia Amelia Rodriguez and Crystal M. Wagar, Esq. discuss the reasons they support Miami Children’s Museum.

Kirk Wagar, Crystal Wagar, Claudia rpdriguez and Oscar Rojas

Miami Children’s Museum’s BE A KID AGAIN GALA: A JOURNEY INTO WONDER is  the most playful event of the South Florida social season. Taking place on Saturday May 13th, 2023, over 700 attendees are expected at the museum’s largest fundraiser of the year. The event is critical in providing support for Miami Children’s Museum’s various programs including S.M.A.R.T (Safe Multicultural Artistic Recreational Teaching) Program, diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, plus an art-based series, Representation Through the Artist’s Lens: Conversations and Workshops for Children.

Themed A Journey Into Wonder, this year’s gala features state-of-the-art technology to create a wondrous and imaginative experience!

Here, longstanding board members Claudia Amelia Rodriguez, who is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Tekmovil and Crystal M. Wagar, Esq, an attorney and advocate discuss the reasons they support Miami Children’s Museum.

Claudia Amelia Rodriguez 

Crystal M. Wagar, Esq.

Her emotional connection to MCM:
I deeply believe everything starts with children’s education.  It is our responsibility to proactively pave the way and support children as they discover their paths.  I made it a personal mission to support children and women’s causes, which are also embedded in our social mission at our company, Tekmovil.  I see the Museum’s impact reflected in our society and in my own daughter.  We find ourselves in the middle of a fast track convergence between the Arts and Technology and the children of Miami and South Florida are particularly fortunate to be growing through this fusion of creativity.  It is a privilege to have this world-class Museum right here in Miami.

Contribution of which she’s most proud of  time as an MCM volunteer:
Perhaps the most constant contribution has been the focus on technology and STEM.  As an engineer, I recognize the importance of exposing children to technology at an early age.  Whether something they choose to pursue in life as a career or not, the foundational knowledge they acquire will serve them in many ways.  From my time at Motorola Solutions where we established a two way radio exhibit at the Museum and sponsored stem oriented learning activities, to most recently seeing my daughter and her friends be part of the Junior Advisory board and identify Science and Technology opportunities for potential additions to the Museum….  the future is limitless, and so is the museum.

MCM’s most rewarding impact on the community:
There is nothing like seeing a child smile.  MCM awakens curiosity and interests in our children, thereby embracing their growth as they explore and learn.  Most importantly, children leave the museum happy, they leave with a smile, and so do the parents.  And in doing so, MCM makes Miami an even better place to live and visit.

What it means to to her to have been involved in MCM from the start:
This is an easy answer for me. I am so proud to have been a part of the inception of the museum.  I was working as an aide at the Board of County Commissioners in 2001 when the concept and the idea came to fruition.  I remember being so excited about doing the research and meeting with Debbie and her team at that time.  Miami did not have a children’s museum of this nature and I knew at that time what a value add it would be for our community. So to see it in action really warms my heart.

Contribution she’s most proud of as a volunteer with MCM:
I think my biggest contribution is bringing awareness to the community with regard to the happenings at that museum.  Now that I am a mother, I enjoy sharing all of the exciting events and exhibits going on with mommy communities and groups!

MCM’s most rewarding impact on the community:
I think it is two fold.  The school is such a value add. The museum is a gem of an asset to our overall community. The quality of education the school provides is top notch and incredibly engaging for both the children and the families they serve.

The Children’s Museum is one of the few places that families can go with their children to watch them learn, think, play, create and explore. It is a stimulating adventure for both kids, parents, grandparents and caretakers. The reward is watching the children’s faces as they absorb all the creativity the museum has to offer.

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