CENTRAL HYDE PARK
DAWNA BOWERS - TEACHER
Hi everyone! My Name is Dawna Bowers. I chose to be a ECE educator because for as long as I can remember, every job that I have held has been centered around children. I am particularly passionate about working with children because every day is a new journey. Children are a burst of energy ready to explore and are giant sponges ready to gain information. They are such a joy to be around. I also have a toddler of my own and I enjoy watching him learn and explore new things. I appreciate being at Little Inspirations because it is so close knit and family oriented. I have a strong belief that it takes a village to raise a child and I am glad to become a part of this village. I am very excited to dive into all the art projects and new adventures that I will get to be a part of, but best of all, to share my love for the Sound of Music soundtrack with everyone!
NELLIE VALENTINE - ASSKISTANT TEACHER
Hi Everyone, My name is Nellie Valentine and I just recently moved back to Chicago from Los Angeles, Ca. I attended Los Angeles City College for my Associates Degree in Child Development, but I’m also planning on receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. The main reason I became interested in being in education is because I’ve been around children from as long as I can remember and I worked as a babysitter/nanny at the age of sixteen. At the age of twenty I started working at
Kinder Kids Preschool located in Los Angeles where I’ve had most of my teaching experience. As an educator, I want my past and future students to gain self-confidence and be able to take certain things they've learned from me to progress as they get older. I'm excited to be a part of the Little Inspirations team because I would like to become better at my job and learn new things, and I feel as if working here will bring that experience to me. My goal while working here is to become better at my job, learn how the company works, and grow together as a team alongside my co-workers. In my spare time I like to hang out with my family and friends and go shopping.
CECILIA HERNANDEZ - TEACHER
Hello, my name is Cecilia. I graduated from NIU with my Bachelor's in Health and Human Services in Rehabilitation Services with a minor in Family and Child Studies. I started babysitting when I was six years old. I always knew I wanted to do something in a field where I can help children; I just didn't know what my calling was until my undergraduate years. I worked at the NIU Campus Child Care Center as a teacher’s aide for three years while living in DeKalb. I knew then that teaching and guiding early-age children was what I wanted to do. Before child care, I worked for the Chicago White Sox as a babysitter for two seasons and would occasionally nanny when asked by the families. My favorite part about teaching children is that we are often learning from them. We learn to adapt, ways to teach, and ways to guide as teachers. Each child is growing and learning about themselves and their environment in different ways. It is our responsibility to aid them in just that. Positive reinforcement, refraining from using the words “no," “can't,” and “don't,” and showing them what they can do instead of what they shouldn't do are important when it comes to helping the child understand what is appropriate or an alternative choice to express themselves/play in a safe manner. My life is a little busy, but I make the best of my days. When I'm not teaching, you will find me managing at Party City. The times that I do find free time, I take advantage of it. I love spending time and catching up with my loved ones, eating ice cream, spoiling my Godson, watching Disney movies and sometimes fitting in a little traveling. I am excited to be a part of the Little Inspirations team and more excited to have the opportunity to be a part of your child’s lives.
ISABELLA FRIEHS - SUPPORT TEACHER (CURIOUS CATERPILLARS / FLOAT)
Hi, my name is Isabella Friehs! I belong to an international family. My older brother, twin brother, and I were adopted from Colombia when we were young, but I have spent most of my life living in Hyde Park, Chicago. I am currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. On the path to my degree, I shadowed at Little Inspirations and fell in love with how the center helps children grow and knew that I wanted to work here. I love to dance, sing, do art, go on nature walks, and travel. I have always loved working with children and realized that it was a passion of mine when I started to teach a dance class for young kids, so I decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education to turn my passion into a career. I love to see how every child is different in their own ways. I’m excited to help children develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively, but am especially excited to incorporate my passion for health and dance in the classroom by helping children develop gross motor skills and learn healthy habits.a team member!