After 13 years of running a registered daycare out of her home, Yvonne Godfrey realized her limited education was also limiting her income. Eager to build a better future, she started classes at a local community college, but demanding classes and poor faculty support led to low grades, and she was forced to drop out. Determined to succeed, Yvonne decided to visit Compton College in the hopes of finding a clearer road to success. That's when Yvonne discovered the Child Development Center with caring faculty and staff who encouraged her to apply and work there part-time while she paved her path to a successful future.
"I was blown away by how supportive the faculty and staff were," says Yvonne. "I met many people who went above and beyond to help me."
In 2019, Yvonne enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Associate of Science Transfer degree at Compton College. The program prepares students for careers in private or public organizations serving infants, toddlers, preschoolers, children with special needs, and children in before and after-school care. But Compton College had even more to offer. Through the CalWORKs Work-Study Program, Yvonne gained valuable work experience to become a teacher and find a fulfilling career that would help her accomplish her goals after graduation.
"I wasn't aware Compton College offers work-study programs for students to gain experience while they completed school," Yvonne explains. "That was exactly what I needed."
Like many students, Yvonne took advantage of a variety of student support services while she earned her degree. For example, she received financial aid and scholarships that made tuition more affordable and participated in the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) to buy textbooks and supplies. In addition, incentives like $50 bookstore credits were available to help students manage additional costs. At times, Yvonne felt intimidated by being older than her classmates, but at Compton, students worked hard together to achieve their goals.
"I learned lessons I never got in school that made me more passionate to teach other children," Yvonne explains.
For Yvonne, the best part about being an educator is supporting children as they grow and learn new things. So, it meant the world to Yvonne when faculty like Melita Ferguson, Ed.D., the director of the Child Development Center, recognized how far Yvonne herself had come.
"Being surrounded by down-to-earth faculty and staff with bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees motivated me to want to earn my degree too," Yvonne says.
Next year, Yvonne will complete her associate degree and transfer to California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she will earn a dual bachelor's and master's degree in child development to support children with special needs. She's glad she took a chance at Compton College and is excited for the next steps in her educational journey.
"Compton College is filled with the support you need to make your dreams come true," Yvonne says.