Bio: While finishing my undergrad at Western Michigan University, I had the opportunity to study abroad in South Korea for one year. While there I got the chance to volunteer with an orphanage in the out skirts of Seoul where I was able to teach English and Art with elementary school aged students. During this time, I discovered that I loved helping others while also working with this specific age group because watching them come into their own and grow is a very humbling experience. When I graduated I worked for Michigan Gear Up for three years, which is housed in the Pre-College department in Ellsworth Hall on Western's campus. This program worked with high school students that were in at risk communities to mentor them in school but also help with helping them think bigger than their circumstances and get into college.
Working with high school students was an amazing experience that will forever live inside me, but during my time there, I felt my calling was still with elementary school students. So, I began looking for jobs in that field, which is what brought me to the Pathfinder Kids program. Not only did I find my dream job, but I found a family here in the church the program is housed in. Every day I feel very blessed that I get to experience some of the biggest milestones a child will go through while in elementary school. I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Mr. Martin, Teacher
Bio: Having graduated Virginia Tech, with a degree in food science and microbiology, I worked for the Kellogg company for a time. While there I would go out to schools and do STEM focused lectures with them and hands on science experiments. It was doing this that I realized I really enjoyed working with kids opposed to the cooperate life. As I volunteered with various organizations, I decided to pursue a position that would allow me to work with children and that would make me happy in my every day life. I have found that here at Pathfinder Kids, a job that doesn't ever feel like a job, but a place where I can encourage the dreams of the next generation and help them on that path of self discovery.
Ms. Rena, Teacher
Bio: Having worked in the Comstock school systems for over 20 years in food service, then becoming a paraprofessional in the Kalamazoo Public School systems as well as a Lunch/recess supervisor has given me a lot of experience with children of all ages and backgrounds. I love working and engaging with children, and working at Pathfinder Kids is constantly giving opportunities to challenge myself and grow.