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 am a mother of three, born and raised on the North side of Chicago. I love watching little minds at work! It’s very rewarding to be a part of children’s lives! I earned my National Childhood Development Associate credential in 2011. I owned and operated a Home Daycare for 15 years - It was a wonderful experience! I am still a kid at heart. I like to jump rope, play on swings, slide down slides and explore the environment around me - this is what drew me to Little Inspirations in June 2013. Little Inspirations offers the greatest way of learning -- through play, touching, observing and experiencing. Fine motor, gross motor, social, cognitive and creative thinking are all large parts of the learning process. Children are free become anything they want to be and it gives me great joy to be a part of their development.



Hi, My name is Ms. Crystal.  I am a graduate from Chicago State University with a degree in Health Sciences. I have worked in almost every neighborhood in Chicago, from the South Suburbs (Pullman), North Side ( Uptown), West (Cermak) and now happily the East Side (Hyde Park). 

   I consider myself a multifaceted person as I have worked with so many different communities and populations including working at a licensed home day care center, phlebotomy (drawing blood), Community Health Educator, Oral Health Educator for CPS, Family Engagement Health Care Coordinator, and Senior Medical Case Manager. I decided to go back to the education field with "the little ones" to work in a less stressful environment. Plus, kids are just adorable. 

   I am married with two wonderful daughters, Diamond, 10 and Sapphire, 8. I have three favorite colors: pink, purple, and green. My hobbies are painting and arts and crafts. Every Friday, my girls and I have "girls night" where we watch movies, pop popcorn over the stovetop, and eat pizza. By the way, my favorite food is pizza and pasta! Yum!

    I enjoy gardening and watching things grow, so I can't wait to get acclimated into Little Inspiration's World and have an effective part in the development of each child who I encounter and bring resources to the families who are in need.



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.a team member!



Education: Associate of Arts in General Studies, Pursuing BA in Early Childhood Education.

Why do I teach? The quote by Henry Adams describes it best, “A teacher affects eternity.”

I’ve had the privilege to work with children for more than 20 years. Being a Special Events Child Care Coordinator gave me the challenge of programming developmentally appropriate events for children ages 2 – 12.  The experience of directing puppet camp, and watching children express themselves through acting, singing, and dance was wonderfully fulfilling. In the classroom, working one-on-one with young ones, listening to their thoughts or observing them create stories is inspiring. Seeing a child put together ideas or make a new discovery encourages me or sometimes makes me giggle. The young see things afresh. I enjoy my conversations with young people. My personality and imagination many times matches theirs. I get excited. I laugh. I pour my best into them. I see them learn new words, discover numbers and experience science but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Only time will tell how the moments I spent with them will affect their future. 



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.




Hi! I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of Little Inspirations. I am currently attending Richard Daley College where I have received my Basic Certificate in Child Development--Preschool.  Now I’m working towards getting my Associate degree in Applied Science in Child Development. I’ve been passionate about Early Childhood Education ever since I was a child. I enjoy the dynamic and exciting opportunities that young children bring.  This career path truly feels like I’ve found what I was meant to do.  Most importantly, my son has made me strive for greatness as I am a role model for future generations.  I find children to be the most genuine and loving human beings and delight in my opportunities to learn with them all day, every day. I am grateful for a chance to work with the teachers, children, and families here at Little Inspirations; it’s like a dream come true!



I am Cheyenne Ross, I am an Alumna of Lincoln University with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. I have  3 years of experience working in early childhood education. I am very creative. In my free time I like to write poetry and read lots of books. I love working in childcare because it reminds me how exciting and amazing the world can be. Being able to experience working with kids opens my imaginative side!