Presidential Scholarship recipient Kaylee Peters, who recently began earning a B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Education at Kendall, shares why continuing her education is so important to her work as an assistant director and teacher at Peppermint Stick Children’s Center in Illinois:
“Many students are asked at one point in their lives, ‘Where do you think you’ll be in five years?’ Some students are sure of what they’re going to do. If I were asked this question five years ago, my answer would not include being an early childhood educator. I always thought that I was going to be a psychologist. In fact, I had a plan that ended with me earning my PhD and starting my own private practice. That all changed when I wound up at Peppermint Stick Children’s Center a little over three years ago.
“I have always enjoyed being around children. I helped out with my younger brother since he was born and I have worked as a babysitter since I was 13. Later, I became a nanny for two children. I was with them for two years and absolutely loved finding fun activities for them to do and helping them with their homework. That’s really where my interest in early childhood education first began, although I did not realize it at the time.
“After being with them, I thought it might be fun to work at a daycare where I could continue doing fun activities and helping children with their schoolwork. I got an interview the day I applied and also received the job on the spot. I was ecstatic.
“Some of my psychology courses at College of Lake County counted toward early childhood education credits, which qualified me to be a lead teacher. As soon as a full-time position opened, I took it. I started as a toddler teacher and after a few months became a pre-kindergarten teacher. I truly found my passion by teaching preschoolers. After a while, I decided that it would be beneficial to have more education.
“I ended up taking five early childhood education courses over about two years. After I finished my fifth class, I became qualified to become a director. Currently, I am an assistant director and one of the pre-kindergarten teachers.
“Since I am the type of person who constantly wants to improve herself, I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree. I want to be the best teacher that I can be. I am fully committed to Kendall’s bachelor’s program. I have heard lots of good things about Kendall College and am very excited to start earning my bachelor’s degree!”