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Kennetta Holden: A third-generation heart for children

Holden-K

You could say teaching is in Elgin Community College student Kennetta Holden's DNA. Already the director of an Elgin childcare center for low-income families, she also completed foster parent classes. Her desire to become a teacher was inspired by her mom, who was a youth mentor with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and her grandmother, a kindergarten teacher.

Holden is currently studying early childhood education at ECC and is a recipient of the Joan C. Schaaf Scholarship for future teachers. An adult learner, her return to school had an important ripple effect for the community. Six other women-all her employees-were inspired by her example and are furthering their education. One of the six women transferred to ECC in summer 2017.

Holden credits ECC Education Professor Dawn Munson for providing her with great guidance. “She started leading me to scholarships and resources for returning adult learners, so I had all of the tools I needed to come back.”

Munson has also helped Holden with her transfer plans to complete her bachelor's degree at Roosevelt University.

Raising awareness among families about education is important to Holden. "Just because you have a low income doesn't mean your children can't have a quality education,”

She added: “I look forward to watching the children I once taught walk across the stage, graduate, and succeed in life!"

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