Come Rain or Sunshine, Shemicka Will be There!

DSC_0357.JPGShemicka Monroe, lead teacher at the River Commons III Head Start facility, was recently recognized at Action Pathways Head Start’s “All Staff” banquet for having perfect attendance – meaning, Shemicka has not missed one day of teaching in two years. Why? She explains below.

A graduate of UNC Pembroke, Shemicka wanted to start a career in social work. She even completed an internship during her time with UNCP/SCC as a liason for families and social workers. Upon graduating, she began actively looking for a job, starting with the Department of Social Services (DSS). After completing another internship with Adult Services at DSS, she applied for a few other positions with the governmental unit but to no avail.  After months of not being able to find work, she felt defeated as loan payments were accruing while she could not find work. She finally found work at a daycare, however; it was not paying enough to cover all her expenses for living. Determined to find something better, she applied for a position with Action Pathways Head Start after seeing a recent job post.

Although teaching was not the career field Shemicka initially sought after, it ended up being the perfect fit for her. She admits that in the beginning it was “rocky,” but she soon found that working for Action Pathways Head Start was more than just teaching, it was also an opportunity for her to utilize her social work education to help children and parents connect with critical resources in the community. “Parents see me as an educator, but the social work piece is hidden,” says Shemicka. “I am able to build more trust with parents, allowing me to find what they need and help them with where they are trying to go; giving them a little nugget of hope.”

Shemicka knows first-hand how important Action Pathways’ Head Start program is to the community. “I went to Head Start; my son went to Head Start,” Shemicka explains. “It’s important for a child to see me every day; it builds consistency. That’s so important for children.” It is that feeling that compels Shemicka to show up every day, ready to teach and motivate. “You can’t be lazy; always be ready. Don’t get ready, be ready,” she exclaims.

She also attributes Head Start’s work environment for keeping her attendance record without absences. “I’m not so restricted, allowing me to be creative” Shemicka remarks. “I like that [Head Start] gives us planning time, and I don’t feel like I have to look over my shoulder.” She also loves working for Action Pathways Head Start so much, she recalls turning down a job opportunity in the recent past. “I had an interview during the school year, but I cried because I couldn’t leave my kids. They’re just so special to me.” Her obvious connection to Action Pathways Head Start; the children and families of which she serves, as well as; Head Start’s belief that every child - regardless of circumstance at birth - has the ability to succeed in life, shows in her commitment to be available for Head Start children and families, without a single sick day. Shemicka is an exemplary model of Head Start’s mission to coalesce, inspire and support the Action Pathways Head Start program as a leader in early childhood education and development.

Action Pathways says, “Thank you, Shemicka Monroe! It is workers like you who help make our program a success.”

To learn more about Action Pathways Head Start, call (910) 487-9800. Interested in a career with Head Start? Click here.