Dominique Willingham was working in early childhood education when she decided that she wanted to increase her knowledge and continue her education. She already had a bachelor’s degree in another field, but was so passionate about early childhood education that she decided to learn all she could with an associate degree from Truman. With the support of her employer, Dominique started taking classes part-time at Truman College while still working full-time at Christopher House.

Dominique loves her job, getting to work with children from birth to age three at Christopher House’s Uptown location. She says “kids that age are eager to learn and have no preconceived notions about anything. It’s inspiring to be able to help guide them.”

Working full-time didn’t give Dominique much time to participate in extra-curriculars, but she still felt like she was a part of the Truman community.

“I had amazing, supportive teachers who cared and wanted to see us succeed. They became like family.”

After earning her Associate of Applied Science in Child Development and Pre-school Education in the spring of 2018, Dominique applied for the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship, a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office for Early Learning, Truman College, Chicago Public Schools, and the Department of Family Support Services. Dominique got the scholarship, which provides access for Chicagoans to pursue coursework in early care and education to earn a credential, degree, or licensure, and is using it to get her Type 04 License through UIC.