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EAST HYDE PARK

INFANT-TODDLER TEAM

PLAYFUL PANDAS (Infants)

east.infants@little-inspirations.com

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SPARKLE JENKENS - TEACHER

Hello! My name is Sparkle Jenkins. I've been working with children for 6 years. I'm currently pursuing my BA in Early Childhood Development at Ashford University. I obtained my CDA in 2017. As a teacher I believe I am responsible for providing infants, toddlers and young children a safe, nurturing environment where they can have positive learning experiences. I strive to model respect for children as well as their parents. Respect for children as well as parents is important for the child to have a great learning experience. Children are motivated to learn when they have opportunities to make choices in an environment that is enriching and stimulating. I believe children learn best through play. They learn through all their senses by tasting, touching, seeing, hearing and smelling. By watching and imitating people close to them, they learn language and behavior. This is why it is important to model the behavior you want the children to display.

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CARMEN MEZA - ASSISTANT TEACHER

Hi! My name is Carmen Meza, or Ms. Carmen if you please. I’m one of the Assistant/Substitute Teachers at Little Inspirations. I go from classroom to classroom to assist the Lead and Assistant teachers in anything they may need, so you may see me in different classrooms every other day. I have 2 years experience working in a childcare setting, but 5+ years in babysitting for friends and family. I was introduced to Early Childhood Education while in my Sophomore year in high school and since then I have enjoyed working with children and seeing all their little quirks and personalities develop. I am currently in school at Northeastern Illinois University to complete my B.A in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in Bilingual Education (Spanish & English). The thing I love about ECE is seeing the development, and being able to play a part in those foundations to their future education is an amazing feeling. I just love to see that moment where they learn something new and are able to understand it. In my spare time you will find me attending college, listening to true crime podcasts and spending time with my family and my nieces and nephews (I have 7!). You will also find me babysitting my preschool-aged niece and middle school-aged nephew.

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LONDON CASON - ASSISTANT TEACHER (EAST INFANTS/TODDLERS)

Hello, my name is London Cason, and I am an Assistant Teacher for Infants/Toddlers! I recently graduated from National Louis University with a B.A. in Applied Educational Studies. However, one day I plan to go back to receive my B.A. in Special Education. Why Special Education? Because it has been a dream of mine to work with children with special needs, especially deaf/hard-of-hearing children. My disability is a big inspiration for that. I am hard of hearing myself, which sets me apart from the Little Inspiration staff in a big way! However, I don’t let my disability stop me from reaching my goals. Working with young children gives me such a high as an educator because every day is new. Every day I see growth in every child, and that growth is always celebrated in their learning. I choose to teach because of the simple fact that I want to help. I want to help grow their little minds and as well as grow within themselves. You will be surprised at how much growth happens within a month of an infant’s or toddler’s life! When I am not working, I am a daughter, big sister, aunt, and friend who loves to read, write, and just live life with a smile 😊 

TINY TURTLES (Toddlers)

east.todds@little-inspirations.com

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MOCHINIQUE JAMASON - LEAD TEACHER

In 2019, I graduated as an honor student from National-Louis University with a B.A. in Early Childhood Practice. I have been in the field of education since 2012, and have developed a set of skills that I take pride in. When it comes to nurturing the minds of young children, I feel most confident that I can provide families and children with adequate support as they partake in new learning experiences. As a mother of 3, I believe that it is most important for me to lead by example; therefore, I apologize when I am wrong, and I speak less and listen more when it is most appropriate for effective change. In doing so, I am giving my children and anyone I come across the best version of me at that time.

“In life, experiences will force you to self-reflect—that is when you do your best to accept accountability, modify yourself, and be who you truly aspire to be.” -Mochinique

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EAST HYDE PARK

INFANT-TODDLER TEAM

PLAYFUL PANDAS (Infants)

pp@little-inspirations.com

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SPARKLE JENKENS - TEACHER

Hello! My name is Sparkle Jenkins. I've been working with children for 6 years. I'm currently pursuing my BA in Early Childhood Development at Ashford University. I obtained my CDA in 2017. As a teacher I believe I am responsible for providing infants, toddlers and young children a safe, nurturing environment where they can have positive learning experiences. I strive to model respect for children as well as their parents. Respect for children as well as parents is important for the child to have a great learning experience. Children are motivated to learn when they have opportunities to make choices in an environment that is enriching and stimulating. I believe children learn best through play. They learn through all their senses by tasting, touching, seeing, hearing and smelling. By watching and imitating people close to them, they learn language and behavior. This is why it is important to model the behavior you want the children to display.

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KE'YANNA EPTING - TEACHER 

Hi! My name is Ke’Yanna Epting (AKA Key-Key). I am currently pursuing my associates in Early childhood education. I do look forward to obtaining my Bachelor's degree in the near future. I love working with children! I like being able to help them develop and learn new skills. This profession means the most to me. These early stages of children's lives are the most important and I am excited to be a part of it. I believe children learn mostly through play, dramatic play to be exact. 

 

A little about myself. I was born and raised here in Chicago, IL. I am one of five children and also a twin. I am very family oriented and love when we all come together for good laughs and fun. Since I was a younger girl, I have had a lot of love for babies and younger children. I then knew that I wanted to be a teacher for infants and toddlers. 

 

During my free time I enjoy being in water, coloring, listening to music, and watching movies. I also love traveling!!

SLIPPERY SEALS (Older Infants)

ss@little-inspirations.com

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BRIANA PORRAS - LEAD TEACHER

Hello my name is Briana Porras! I am super excited to be a part of the Little Inspirations family. I am excited to work with all the lovely children here at the center. My experience in childcare has grown. I started off babysitting for my own family and then got into the field and studied to be in the Early Childhood Field at Malcolm X College, I studied here for 3 years. 

A little bit of background about myself: I was born and raised on the southside of Chicago, I am the youngest of three, and a first time aunt to 2 beautiful girls. I have two little ones of my own, a boy who is 2 years old and a three month baby girl, the best of both worlds! I love sunsets and enjoy visiting new places. A fun fact about me is I love traveling and collecting souvenirs from everywhere I have visited.

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KEYANNA DORVAL - ASSISTANT TEACHER

Hello friends and parents! I’m so excited to be part of the Little Inspirations family. My name is Keyanna Dorival and I am currently a junior psychology major at Fisk University. My dream is to be a psychiatrist and own my own clinic.

While following my dreams, I found a new and amazing passion, working with children. It was not until 2020 that I had my first experience instructing young children. This quickly turned from a job to a great love. The most beautiful thing is watching a child learn and grow. From learning unfamiliar words to taking their first steps, it truly has been a joy to take part in the development of all my tiny friends. Teaching is fulfilling because it aids in the growth of the futures of all the children we impact. Every hug, laugh, and game plays a significant role in not only their educational development, but their social and emotional development as well.

Originally, I am from Long Island, New York. My family and I moved to Chicago when I was 17 years old. Aside from my work with children, I am also a hair stylist. I love to make people feel beautiful and create looks that boost their moods as well as their confidence. It’s a great way to have fun while also helping others, it’s another great passion of mine.

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CAROL NISBET - ASSISTANT TEACHER

Over the years, I have worked with children in Canada, Italy and in the United States.  My background in the fine arts (dance, music, art) has enriched my work with children. Having grown up in multicultural Toronto and Montreal my outlook in life is diverse and spontaneous.  I am a creative, nurturing and responsible caregiver, instructor and mentor to the children.  I enjoy a full personal life and try to frequent the rich variety of art exhibitions, performances, and recitals offered by this great city!  Guiding our children here at Little Inspirations through communication and creative playtime is a most rewarding experience for me!

TINY TURTLES (Toddlers)

tt@little-inspirations.com

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MOCHINIQUE JAMASON - LEAD TEACHER

In 2019, I graduated as an honor student from National-Louis University with a B.A. in Early Childhood Practice. I have been in the field of education since 2012, and have developed a set of skills that I take pride in. When it comes to nurturing the minds of young children, I feel most confident that I can provide families and children with adequate support as they partake in new learning experiences. As a mother of 3, I believe that it is most important for me to lead by example; therefore, I apologize when I am wrong, and I speak less and listen more when it is most appropriate for effective change. In doing so, I am giving my children and anyone I come across the best version of me at that time.

“In life, experiences will force you to self-reflect—that is when you do your best to accept accountability, modify yourself, and be who you truly aspire to be.” -Mochinique

SHANICE SMITH - ASSISTANT TEACHER

Education: Pursuing a BA in Nursing. 5+ years experience in ECE

Tell us something fun about yourself: My family and friends nicknamed me “detective” because I can always find or figure out things given minimal details.

What do you love about teaching or early childhood? What I love the most about teaching ECE is being able to see a child develop and grow. I absolutely love to see when a child has grasped a concept and is eager to learn more.

What’s your favorite area of play and why? My favorite area of play for children, without a doubt, is dramatic play! This is my favorite because dramatic play gives children a chance to use their amazingly creative imaginations to place themselves in their own world of play. Dramatic play is also my favorite because it is a time where children can interact with other children freely.

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KENNEDY CLAY - ASSISTANT TEACHER

Hello, My name is Kennedy Clay. I'm from the south side of Chicago. I now attend the University of Chicago at Illinois (UIC). I am currently pursuing my bachelors in Psychology. I chose psychology because I enjoy helping and listening to others. I previously worked at a daycare while in highschool, my first experience with children and I fell in love. Although I was young, I just knew this is what I wanted to do! I am someone who is passionate about the things I do. I enjoy helping others, being kind, and teaching.  I enjoy working with children because they bring me joy. I enjoy learning new things from not only my peers, but the children as well. Being able to teach new things, and come up with creative activities that are not only fun, but educational is something I enjoy.

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