Awards & Grants Spotlight
In order to celebrate the impact of the awards and grants program, CAAEYC interviewed previous recipients. We were so inspired by their stories that we decided to share them with you here. First, please enjoy our conversation with 2015 conference award recipient Cynthia Price.
CAAEYC: Where were you on your professional path when you applied for an award?
Cynthia: When I applied for a conference award, I was in my first year as an undergrad student back in school after raising my family and at that time I was a family child care provider.
CAAEYC: How did you find out about the award?
Cynthia: After receiving an email about the opportunity from my local chapter of CAAEYC, my college professor suggested that I should consider applying.
CAAEYC: What was your favorite part of conference?
Cynthia: The whole conference was so exciting, from the drive up to Sacramento to hearing Dr. Bruce Perry for the first time. Then meeting my ECE idol, Bev Bos face to face and having a long chat with her while she waited for her ride. I even got a hug! OMG I was smitten! I will admit that being recognized on stage as an award recipient was awesome too. And then there was the delightful Sharon Krull (another Kindred spirit) and meeting other FCC providers there who were striving to be considered professional was so inspiring for me. It is really a very fond memory I have of thinking, I want to present a workshop here one day.
CAAEYC: What’s something you learned at conference that has helped you professionally?
Cynthia: I learned that being actively involved with CAAEYC is being a professional. Doctors have the AMA, Lawyers have the BAR Association and we, as Early Education Professionals, have the NAEYC! I also learned that supporting infants and toddlers in the development of their social and emotional skills is crucial to their future learning.
CAAEYC: Do you have any advice for a first-time conference attendee?
Cynthia: Yes, my advice is to pace yourself and choose the workshops that might challenge you a little bit. Plan to come back the next year and if you haven’t joined your local chapter, JOIN and get involved. Oh, bring your saved funds for the EXPO, they have the best books, flannel stories, art supplies and coolest toys!
CAAEYC: What are your professional goals now?
Cynthia: Since my first conference, I have attended almost every year since. I completed my bachelor’s degree, my master’s degree and now, as an adjunct university instructor, I encourage other students to join CAAEYC and come to conference. I have even presented a few workshops during the past three years at conference. In addition, I serve on the CAAEYC board as a state director to our local chapter. My goals now are to continue learning about brain development and how to meet the needs of children and families from a more global perspective. In my other roles as an Early Head Start assistant manager, I currently continue to support all students and parents to attend this conference and be lifelong learners!