Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacolbie Hardy.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My story is quite simple. I got put out of high school my senior year, but because my mom decided not to just let me settle, she made me go back and finish high school and get my diploma.
Upon graduating, I started to study the daycare business under my mom’s teaching and eventually I branched out on my own and pursued Destination Education in 2016 all while working a full-time job at LeBonheur Children Hospital. I started off with just two kids and within eight months I had fifty kids by the time I reached one year of being in business, I had doubled in kids.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
1. When I first got started, I had my car repossessed three times.
2. I had a difficult time trying to encourage the community to trust a male my age in a female-dominated industry t to do right by their children and provide high-quality childcare education to their kids.
3. Trying to usher parents into adopting a new way of seeing childcare. Many of my parents wanted to see childcare as a babysitting service, but I want them to see it as more than that. It’s a safe place for my staff and me to educate their children.
4. Trying to service the whole child and not just educate them. I feel compelled to help them work through challenges they face in the community, at home, or with food insecurities.
As you know, we’re big fans of Destination Education Learning Center. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Destination Education’s mission is to provide professional child care in a practical form while in a safe, clean, nurturing, and energetic environment for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
It’s our goal at Destination Education to ensure each child will receive a practical and quality educational experience that will set them up for success inside and outside the classroom to effectively change their community in a positive light.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The biggest lesson that I have learned has been putting community over myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to be placed in a position to be a blessing to others, especially my students. I’ve come to learn that when you choose this line of work you have to have the heart to serve.
Servitude has no age limit, we’ve been called to serve even the children. I’ve learned how to serve my students not only in the capacity of teaching them but also by becoming involved in their everyday life. I’ve learned either I can add value to my community or I can take away from my community, and I chose and learned how to add value.
We live in a society where fathers being absent from the home is common, Since working in this field, as a male, I’ve learned how to wear multiple hats besides being the director. I learned how to show up for my students that meet them right where they are, whether that’s being a role model, a positive father figure, or a mentor.
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