June 18, 2020

From CDI Student to Teacher!

By Valerie K.

It’s always so exciting when we see the children in our centers grow up and come back to us as parents when enrolling their own children at CDC. It’s also especially rewarding when children grow up and come to work with us as mentors of the next generation.  

Allison Abellera was a student at our Elliott Ranch center from Kinder through the 6th grade and enjoyed our centers so much that she came to work with us as an Assistant Substitute Teacher in October of last year. We were so excited to have the opportunity to sit down and learn more about her experiences and thought processes in coming to work for our organization. 

How long have you been with CDI? Can you tell me about your current position?  

I started as a Substitute Associate Teacher in October 2019 and I’m currently working on the credits needed to obtain my permit. I don’t have an assigned center, but I’ve worked at John Ehrhardt mostly and Elitha Donner just this past April. 

I understand you were with us as a student as a child. Can you tell me a bit more about that? What made you want to come and work for our organization?  

My family had relocated from the San Jose area when I was young, and I was enrolled in the Elk Grove school district. I attended Elliott Ranch from Kinder through the 6th grade and it was an awesome experience. There’s a lot of overlap at school with ECU and Psych units and I wanted to work as a Teacher and get that kind of experience first while I go to school. I was referred to CDI by employees who already worked for the organization and it worked out well for me, because it’s also close to home. 

Tell me about your career and educational background. What roles were you in prior to coming to CDI? 

 This is actually my first job and I’ve currently completed 12 units toward my getting permit. Right now, I’m a Psychology Major, currently studying Developmental Psychology at Sacramento State University as I gain experience as an Assistant Teacher 

What did you enjoy most about attending CDI as a child and what do you enjoy most about working in our centers?  

I always loved the arts and crafts at the center, they always had so many things to work with, like driftwood, that was cool. 

We had options to partake in indoor or outdoor activities and I enjoyed being indoors more than outdoors. 

It was funny because whenever we voted as a class, the majority would vote to go outside, and I couldn’t help but be a little sad. As a teacher, I love making connections with my students and planning for Fun Fridays. We’ll give them the option of going outside or staying inside to do an activity with us. 

Tell me something that you think makes our organization unique.  

I think it’s so cool how we’re on so many school campuses. 

The company does a great job with its program outreach.  

What do you hope to further develop within the organization?  

I really do love my current role and the flexibility it offers since I’m going to school right now. Working at multiple centers gives me more opportunities to connect with students and help more centers as I continue working towards my permit so I can move into more of a Teacher role.