photo of Jameshia Hendrix

Jameshia Hendrix

Director of Before & Afterschool Camp and Paraprofessional at Lloyd Barbee Montessori School

I credit my upbringing for motivating me to go into the field of early care and education. I was put into the position at a young age. Started with my mother at a bible camp at the age of 14 and continued from there. Eight years ago, I volunteered for Milwaukee Recreation’s Before- & After-School Camps program at Lloyd Barbee School and was later hired on as a paraprofessional. I continued working with the camp program and am now also the camp director. My pre-K teacher Krissy Washington continues to motivate me as I continue my journey. She would always say that I was a handful and now I tell myself “if she can deal with me then I can deal with children”.

I like to think that my role at the school as the camp director and paraprofessional is to be there and support my students and their parents to the best of my abilities. This means if a child is having an issue in their classroom and they come to me before school, I might chat with the child or check in with the child before and after class to see how the child is doing. Same with the parents, they have a hard time working with computers or signing things; I do all that I can to help them and we work together to get the job done. I also work closely with families on strategies and techniques that we use at school to help parents successfully employ them at home with their children. It makes me most proud to see the positive outcomes from my job.

We do a lot for children everyday of their lives. Some of them are with us for 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday and we aren’t appreciated half the time. We get paid for our services but we do not get dental or health benefits in our positions. I would like to see the level of respect and compensation change for the field.