On the Road Again

February 27, 2020

Published by CounciLINK on February 27, 2020

NavyInspired Speech at the Navy Mid-Atlantic Region Child and Youth Programs Commencement

On February 13, Dr. Valora Washington, CEO of the Council, was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Navy Mid-Atlantic Region Child and Youth Programs Commencement Ceremony in Norfolk, VA. Nearly 300 people were awarded the CDA credential as they stood before a full house of their loved ones and friends. Many of the new CDA holders also had higher education degrees and high hopes of going far in their profession. To further inspire the graduates, Terrilyn Williams a current doctoral student, shared her CDA journey. You can read her moving speech below:

“I am honored to stand before you this evening to share with you how earning my Child Development Associate, better known as the CDA® credential, has impacted my educational and career pathway.

I received my initial CDA credential in 1999 after completing the 13 Child Development modules working as a program assistant for the Department of the Army. I later received my associate’s degree in ECE, working as a teacher for Head Start through their Tuition Scholarship Program.

I began my career with the Department of the Navy in 2007 and completed my master’s degree in education. Working for the Navy has provided me with some of the most comprehensive training available. In my 13 years with Navy Child and Youth Programs, the training, experiences and connections I made empowered me to further my education. Because of that, I am now a doctoral candidate currently writing my dissertation in early childhood education.

I say all of this to show that my career pathway started with earning my CDA. Over the past 20 years, and after receiving several degrees, I have maintained my CDA credential as a reminder of how it all began and how it leveraged my career as a military spouse with gainful employment. And now as a Professional Development Specialist who conducts observations for CDA candidates, I can help someone else along the way.

I would like to personally thank Dr. Washington and the Council for Professional Recognition for having this nationally recognized credential for early childhood educators.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate each of you on your accomplishment, and if you choose to further your education, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of some of the opportunities that may be available to you, such as the Navy Tuition Reimbursement program or the grant and scholarship programs offered by the state.

In closing, I would like to thank Ms. Ollie Baker personally for seeing this vision and working with the Navy to make her vision a reality. Because of her dedication to the Navy and the CDA program, hundreds of CYP employees can now have the same opportunity I had many years ago.”


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