Student Success Stories

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 ECE PDO at PASSHE. A stay-at-home mother of two pre-teen, homeschooled daughters for many years, Leigh Ann re-entered… 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 »