Impacting Young Lives
Nicole DeVincenzo is a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher for Lincoln Park Head Start with Gaston Community Action, Inc. In 2000, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Charlotte.
When Nicole began exploring career options after earning her degree from UNC-Charlotte, she focused on opportunities that offered a work-life balance so that she could be closer to her children. Nicole decided that she wanted to work with very young children (pre-kindergarten) to help prepare them for elementary school. In 2006, she found an opportunity to work for Gaston Community Action’s Head Start program. After gaining a few years of experience on the job, Nicole enrolled in Gaston College’s Early Childhood Education program in 2009 to expand her professional base of knowledge and to grow as an educator by utilizing new strategies in the classroom. “Many people I worked with went to Gaston College to earn their Early Childhood Education degree,” said Nicole. “It was also close to where I live, so I decided to enroll.”
After taking a few courses, she began to see value in the education she was receiving. “The information I was learning was helping me,” she said. “Gaston College gave me a new perspective of the early childhood field. My instructors took time to get to know me as a person, and I learned about their lives through stories they shared. The information I gained helped me grow.”
In 2013, she graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Gaston College and earned her Professional Birth-Kindergarten license at Western Carolina University.
She gives special acknowledgment to her instructors, who helped her succeed while attending Gaston College. She says, “Even though I do not attend Gaston College anymore, I still see my instructors, including Dr. Eileen Yantz, Ms. Erin Brassell, and Ms. Robin Pollard, and they remember me. This shows that the staff takes the time to get to know their students.” Nicole continues to use the knowledge from the Early Childhood Education Program to prepare our youngest community members for lifelong success.
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