Morristown, N.J. (March 4, 2015) – Avelyn Jackson once thought that she was not smart. Then while she was attending the County College of Morris, she took a class in learning styles and discovered that she was quite smart – she just learned differently! She did get her B.S. with honor in Business Administration with a concentration in human resources from CSE in 2004. After many years of working for Medco, holding various positions, one as an adult trainer, she was at a crossroads as to where she should take her journey so she returned to CSE to begin her master's in Health Care Management in 2011. About halfway through this program, she switched to education and earned her P-3 certification. She is now pursuing a master's in education with an emphasis in special education.
"I love to learn," Jackson says. "Especially now that I know my learning style."
Currently she is a teacher's assistant in the Lafayette Learning Center, a preschool in Morristown that has both general and special education for three to five-year-olds. The more she works with children, the more she realizes that her background has prepared her as an advocate for those with different learning styles.
"I know what it is like to feel dumb. All students deserve frequent opportunities to learn and experience success," she says. "Children with learning differences need to know that someone is there to advocate for them with their parents, teachers, and school system."
She is enthusiastic as she describes how she tries to teach her small charges using different methods as well as teaching them how to think critically.
"I try to teach them to think critically and problem solve by having them take a step back from a situation and look at the other person's point of reference," she explains. "This helps in teaching acceptance and tolerance when one looks at the other person in a different light."
While she is still interested in healthcare management ("that may be next – we'll see what doors open"), it is clear that she can touch many lives with her positive and altruistic energy.
"It is not about just educating the mind, but also about the whole child," she continues. "I want my toolbox to be full so that the children get the very best from me."
Jackson likes to collect and share resources from among her friends and associates. Through her networks she is able to give to families that may need a little extra, such as food resources, social workers, or just a positive word.
Advice to potential CSE students? "Do your research to make an educated decision. Visit the campus and speak to the students and teachers. Be honest with yourself," she counsels. "At CSE, you will never be a number."