Nancy Barajas became interested in the NCWorks Workforce Development Program after hearing about her sister’s experience with Buncombe Partnership for Children’s pilot program that recruited, trained and placed early educators in the field. After Nancy’s sister completed the program she was soon hired by a local childcare facility as a full-time early educator. Nancy was currently studying to become a massage therapist but had always been interested in working with children and caring for others. As the oldest sibling in her family she had a lot of experience helping to care for her younger siblings.
In November 2019 Nancy enrolled in the NCWorks Workforce Development Program. She completed the 24 hours of pre-service training and became a substitute for Buncombe Partnership for Children before the end of the year working full-time hours in different childcare centers throughout the county. Nancy enrolled in the Spring term at AB Tech Community College completing the EDU 119 course by May 2020. Soon after course completion, Nancy received her Early Childhood Certificate.
Nancy has just recently completed a year of working for Buncombe Partnership for Children. She says that working with children “isn’t always easy because they can test the limits” but that she has learned a lot about herself and how to work with children. Nancy says, “I learn something new each day,” like how to use sign language and how not to overuse ‘no’ when talking with children. Nancy has taken an interest in seeing how her knowledge of massage therapy can assist children with special needs. She hopes to expand her early education career by possibly working with children as a physical therapist or speech therapist.