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.
ARELY FLORES - ASSISTANT TEACHER
Hello, my name is Arely Flores, born and raised in Chicago. I am bilingual, speaking English, Spanish, and French. Like everyone else, I looked for the right career path to take. As a high school student I completed my community service hours at my elementary school, being a teacher’s assistant. While volunteering and assisting a kindergarten teacher, I really started to like the idea of being able to teach someone something they would later use in their everyday life. Teaching such young and unique minds that are still developing and changing every day is a life-changing experience that I take very seriously with precaution. Patience and creativity are two of my favorite words that I use and follow daily. It's important to me to always advocate a child’s personality and create a safe environment overall. Growing up, I only had a handful of teachers that truly cared about teaching and directing me towards success. It is my ultimate goal to be that teacher that pushes, supports, and teaches our future generation towards greatness.
I also enjoy learning and being creative in my down time. I love capturing a life’s moment with photography and videography; it’s one of my greatest passions apart from teaching. With children, there’s never a dull moment and I love creating visual memories for their parents or their future selves. Pictures can tell a whole story and I absolutely love looking back at old pictures and thinking about the moment it was taken.