Ensuring that the events of September 11, 2001 are honored, remembered and understood is at the heart of Project Rebirth’s mission. Team member Tanya Villanueva Tepper works directly with our Education Team to present their interactive 9/11 history curriculum entitled “Talking with Tanya: Teaching 9/11 Through the Documentary Film Rebirth.” This curriculum is designed for middle and high school students and builds on the successful use of “Rebirth” as a teaching tool by Tim Bowen, a Social Studies teacher in Storrs, Connecticut.


“Talking with Tanya” introduces students to the human dimension of 9/11. Tanya Villanueva Tepper lost her fiancé Sergio, a firefighter with the FDNY. Tanya’s ability to speak with both authority and deep personal insight makes this curriculum unique. Talking with Tanya allows students to truly understand the lasting impact of the tragic events of 9/11 while providing a rare opportunity to learn about an event that changed their world.


Tanya is working closely with a team of professional educators to ensure that their curriculum is engaging, accurate and aligns with Common Core requirements. 

Tanya, Thank you for sharing your story. It was a brave thing, a difficult thing. With your help, I have learned more about not only 9/11, but about grief and strength. The human spirit is far greater than we think. Thank you for showing everyone that and thank you for doing Project: Rebirth. “Thank You” may seem over used, but it has not lost it’s meaning on me. I hope you and your beautiful family achieve greatness.
— Megan
Tanya, I am a teacher in Columbus, Ohio, and I spent my day today sharing the tragedy of what happened eleven years ago today. As part of our day, I showed them the documentary Rebirth. I know how hard the loss of your fiancé was, and I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how moved my students were by your story. Many of them come to the United States as refugees from war-torn countries and have experienced tremendous amounts of violence in their lives and have great difficulty expressing their feelings in a healthy way. They connected hard with your honesty and, as a result, many, many students shed tears. The conversation generated incredible discussion. Nothing I have done in my twenty plus years of teaching has ever created such an outpouring of emotion. Thank you for turning your tragic loss of Sergio into such a force for good in this world. Today, you truly were the difference. Wishes for much happiness.
— Hal, a high school teacher who has incorporated Rebirth into his curriculum