Hello!  I am happily married to my husband of thirty-eight years, Odell, and we have two children named Eileen and Marcus.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Chicago State University, and attended Rosary College for my Montessori Diploma for ages 3-5. I chose to work with younger children because of the unique ways they have of expressing their wants and needs as they explore and learn. I appreciate the communication I have with the parents, peers and administration as we become involved in each child's development. I am very passionate about continuing to learn - just as the children are! I am happy to help fulfill the Vision and Mission of Little Inspirations.



I attended Harold Washington College, where I got my associate’s degree. I later got my CDA. I choose to work in early childhood education because I love helping young children explore what they can do as they grow. I also love how excited young children are when they discover new things about themselves and the world. In my spare time, I like to read, spend time with my family and cat, and play video games.


DEJA ASHLEY - TEACHER Hi! My name is Deja Ashley, I graduated from National Louis University. I graduated with a major in psychology and a minor in education. I have always been good with children and always wanted to work with them. I have experienced many opportunities that involve children from just volunteer work, tutoring, afterschool programs, internships, and facilities in which I was building my knowledge through different things and learning as I have completed them. This was a journey to maintain, and I am pleased to continue my journey as time continues to go forward. With all that said I am so excited to be teaching in the Busy Bee’s classroom! This is a new journey for me and so excited to take it on further! In my spare time, I love to read books and write poetry! I love to travel and learn about different cultures as well!


MARCHAY GRAYS - TEACHER (currently on leave)

My name is Marchay Grays. I was born on May 27th in Chicago, IL. I am extremely honored that I have the opportunity to nurture, encourage, and teach your child. I have always had a passion for Early Childhood Education because birth to age three is the peak for brain development. A child’s early stages not only matter, but they are the most critical in development. I have experience with ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. I began working with children ten years ago and decided to enroll in the Child Development program at Kennedy-King College. I earned my Associate’s Degree, with high honors, in Pre-School Education. I plan to continue my pursuit of my  Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Practice: Infant/Toddler at National Louis University. I am very passionate about Early Childhood Education. I am very patient. I believe that children should be treated with compassion, patience, and respect, regardless of the circumstances. I believe that diversity, social-emotional, and self-expression all play a huge role in a child’s development and tolerance. I am so excited about this new journey! I look forward to building positive relationships with you and your child:)



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.



My name is Dominique Pierce. I am 25 years old and I recently moved back to Chicago from Canton, Ohio, where I attended Malone University for an associate’s degree in Biology. After moving back to Chicago I worked as a substitute teacher for Chicago Public Schools, third and fourth graders. I have always had a passion and a joy for kids and after working with CPS my purpose became very clear to me. I shadowed at Little Inspirations and after meeting the kids and instantly creating bonds, that left me talking all night about how I enjoyed myself and what a  life-changing of an experience it was for me. At that moment I knew this is where I was meant to be! My personal goal is to further my education by obtaining a degree in child development. My goals for little Inspirations are to create a personal bond with each of my students, get them prepared for the next transition, and lastly I want to help maintain a positive learning environment for all the students.

RONDA HOWARD - TEACHER  In 2002, I started my family; I began focusing on children’s events by volunteering at Chicago schools and partnering at community children’s events for twelve years. This shift in focus revealed the realization and vision of what is missing in urban children’s lives today where I have worked with Dr. Horton, Ph. D., in mentoring children with fun positive activities in Chicago’s south side communities. I believe if you raise awareness of solutions for early prevention of stress relief and anxiety with fun positive activities, that child will gain high self-esteem, strong self-control and willpower to accomplish their goals. My background was in marketing and promotion for the corporate industry, which I truly don’t miss, since I changed my career to early child development.


I truly enjoy working with children, and have returned to school to receive my degree in early child development. While working at Little Inspirations, I continue to do after school programs. I believe that children are the joy of the world and we must provide the tools of motivation that stimulate our children to develop cognitive, social, and language skills so that they can achieve their goals. When you provide a happy positive environment, like here at Little Inspirations, everyone benefits and achieves goals together.  I truly appreciate being a team member at Little Inspirations and always look forward to walking in the door and receiving warm smiles from the children and teachers. There’s no better way to start the day!