CENTRAL HYDE PARK
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.
IRIS BRANCH - MENTOR TEACHER / ALTERNATE DIRECTOR
I am excited to be a member of the Little Inspirations team. I am a mother of two and I revolve my world around them. Having experienced motherhood has opened my eyes to realize just how much of a lifelong passion I have always had for children. It thrills me to see a child smile. As an early childhood educator, my beliefs go beyond just educating children to also creating experiences that will last a lifetime. I have over ten years’ experience working with developmentally disabled children and adults. I received my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2012. My vision for working at Little Inspirations is to enhance my skills as an Early Childhood Educator to positively impact children’s lives with my unique creativity. Some of my personal interest and hobbies include traveling, event planning, coordinating and decorating for parties, and just being a mom.
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!