Student Success Stories

Meet PDO Student Superstar Ana Arteaga

THERE ARE MANY PDO STUDENT SUPERSTARS IN OUR MIDST. One of them is Ana Arteaga, who completed CDA coursework in 2023 through PennAEYC, and earned a CDA Credential in spring 2024. Thanks to Jennifer Granitz, Ana’s very supportive director at the Follow Me Chris an Early Education Center in Harrisburg, Ana was able to join… Read more »

Megan BurdinskyMegan Burdinski Slays Time Management

MEGAN BURDINSKI has always loved children and thought one of her dreams came true when she was hired at an early learning program in 2020. Since 2022, she has taught at the Carlisle Early Education Center, where sheis a lead teacher. Megan’s deep desire to make a positive difference in the lives of young children… Read more »

Sierra Peebles Named Outstanding Apprentice

PDO-FUNDED STUDENT SIERRA PEEBLES has received the Outstanding Registered Apprenticeship Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Training Office, which recognized her dedication, determination, and perseverance to overcome obstacles. Sierra’s educational journey has not always been easy. Diagnosed with a form of dyslexia that affects her reading comprehen- sion, Sierra often was placed… Read more »

Dual Enrollment has Double Benefits!

KAYLA POWELL HAS HAD YEARNINGS TO TEACH YOUNG children since she was an elementary school student, when she was inspired by a particularly encouraging fourth-grade teacher with whom she is still in contact. Kayla started paving her professional pathway early, as she earned her Preschool CDA Credential shortly after graduating from Waynesburg Area Senior High School in… Read more »

Student Victory with Verve!

ANGIE CARROLL IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL COMBINATION of determination, drive, and dedication. The proof-positive is the CDA Credential she earned from PennWest/Edinboro in April 2022, the ECE Apprenticeship she completed and her role as an Apprenticeship Coach in her center, as well as her current pursuant of an Associate’s degree at Clarion University. Angie started college at… Read more »

It’s a Family Affair: Mother‐Daughter Pursue CDA Credential Together

PARENTS AND CHILDREN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. Nicole Garland and her daughter, Alexis, are first-hand examples of just that, as both are pursuing their Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), while working at Frock Childcare Learning Center in Mt. Pleasant, PA. Their love for teaching children is more than a profession. Previously a stay-at-home mother of… Read more »

Early Education Center In the Spotlight

View Preview Little Bears Childcare & Preschool Learning EMPLOYEE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES TAKE A VARIETY OF FORMS at Little Bears Childcare & Preschool Learning, which has operated in Hughesville, PA (Lycoming County) since 2010. Among them are pay raises, mentorship‐loaded support, gift cards, and even shopping trips to purchase work clothing. The result is an… Read more »

PDO Student Earns Bachelor’s Degree

FROM CENTER OWNER TO DIRECTOR, ANABELA ARAUJO has seen much growth from her beginnings as an aide in an early childcare center over 15 years ago. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from East Stroudsburg University (ESU) this spring, she recognizes the value of her PDO‐ sponsored opportunity. Formerly the owner of… Read more »

Student Breaks Through Barriers

JAKE THOMAS NEVER IMAGINED he would enjoy working with a room of one and two year olds as much as he does! An assistant teacher at the Early Learning Center at the YMCA in Erie, Pennsylvania for 10 months, Jake is currently studying to earn his CDA Credential through Edinboro University. “My plan is to… Read more »

PDO‐Sponsored Apprentice Heads toward Bachelor’s Degree

CHARLENE WEBB immediately recognized opportunity when the Homewood, Pennsylvania YWCA’s early childhood care director where she works encouraged her to take advantage of PDO-sponsored higher education. With an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education already under her belt, Charlene was able to seamlessly transfer her earned credits from the Community College of Allegheny County to… Read more »

Child Care Operator Completes CDA, Pursues Associate’s Degree

While Diane Hoffman has operated a licensed child care facility since 1997, she had not been able to complete the CDA credential until being tuition-sponsored by the ECEPDO. Indicating that affordability was the largest barrier, Diane connected with PD Coordinator Amber Barkman, who helped her navigate the application and enrollment process. “Within a few days,… Read more »

Multi-Lingual PDO Student Speaks a Language of Love for Children

PALLAVI PRIYADARSHINI never imagined she would find a career in early childhood education so rewarding. Born in India where she earned a degree in economics, she has been living in the Erie area for the last 10 years. Since 2017, Pallavi has been working at a family-operated daycare center in a townhome community. There, she… Read more »

Working Student Shaunte Sloan-Ambush Offers Lessons that Last

Early childhood education working student Shaunte Sloan-Ambush offers lessons that last for children in her charge at Sunny Days Child Development Center in Harrisburg. A mother of four, Shaunte understands ‘busy’ and the rewards that come from having goals and working toward them as she balances duties at home, work, and nears CDA class completion.… Read more »

Leigh Ann Janicki’s Calling is Advanced with PDO Support

Leigh Ann Janicki has long known that for her, guiding and caring for young children is more than a profession, but a calling. Leigh Ann was among the first early childhood caregivers to be accepted into the ECEPDO at PASSHE. A stay-at-home mother of two pre-teen, homeschooled daughters for many years, Leigh Ann re-entered the… Read more »

PDO Student Tyquanna Ratcliffe is Going the Distance

Student-worker-mother Tyquanna Ratcliffe is mission-focused on pursuing her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Facing financial challenges that would otherwise make higher education unaffordable, she recognizes the unique opportunity to earn a degree that is paid for by the PASSHE Professional Development Organization (PDO). With one semester already under her belt at Westmoreland County Community… Read more »