Alicia Sanchez-Harmon wants every child who enters her All Saints Academy classroom to feel welcomed and loved.
She learned how to make that happen from the Child Development faculty at GRCC.
“I always loved children but never thought I would make a career out of it,” Sanchez-Harmon said. “I took a few Child Development classes to help fill up some requirements, and I never looked back! They really helped me discover what I was put on this earth to do.”
Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.
Sanchez-Harmon valued the real-life experiences she had with the program and her work in the state-of-the-art Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory. She especially appreciated the honest classroom conversations about challenges she and her fellow students faced.
“All of my professors created a safe place to vent and come up with ways to combat our issues,” she said.
After earning an associate degree in 2019, Sanchez-Harmon was hired by Head Start for Kent County. She worked there while finishing her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Ferris State University’s Grand Rapids campus. Through the “3+1” agreement between the two schools, she was able to transfer to Ferris State University as a senior after receiving her associate degree.
“The flexibility of GRCC and FSU‘s 3+1 program allowed me to obtain two degrees while working full time and gaining meaningful experience,” she said.
Last summer, Sanchez-Harmon became a pre-K teacher at All Saints Academy – the school she attended! Her GRCC experience prepared her for the role.
“My experience at GRCC was valuable because as I entered into my bachelor’s-level classes, I felt prepared,” she said. “I had a strong understanding of how young children learn and was ready to build on that knowledge. I had many projects, notes and lesson plans from my time at GRCC that I was able to refer back to when I felt stuck. I also felt the support of my GRCC professors and lab instructors as they would always check in with me.
“I am forever grateful to the amazing teachers at the ECLL who steered me toward my passion!”
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