Hello! I grew up in Portland, Oregon before moving to Eugene to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon. During my first year as an undergraduate student, I eagerly applied to work as a teacher’s aide at the Co-Op Family Center. When I was offered an aide position, I did not know what to expect as far as the pedagogy and philosophies of the school. Upon orientation I learned about the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and absolutely felt drawn to it. I was especially interested in putting emphasis on the rights of the young child, especially as that fit in with their natural interests and curiosities as lead for project work. As I started to work in the classrooms, I completely fell in love with the philosophy and the school as a whole. I continued to work at the Co-Op through my time at the UO, working my way up from aide, to assistant and then Substitute teacher during the 2020-2021 school year (The year of Covid protocols). I had plans to move back to Portland after graduating, however with open positions for lead teachers available at the Co-Op, I ultimately decided to stay and work where I loved.
In addition to working at the Co-Op, the Family and Human Services degree program I was part of gave many opportunities to intern and volunteer throughout Eugene. I worked at two research labs, assisting with studies involving parent/child interactions and food access in rural communities. I also spent time interning with Agape Youth and Parenting Now! All of these experiences have enriched and strengthened my passion for working with children. I am so lucky to be a part of the Co-Op community, and honored to share in the work of the center.