Ashley Cichowicz had been employed at a preschool in Manchester, Connecticut, but when it closed due to budget cuts, she found herself working at a fast food restaurant and unable to meet her bills.
Now, Cichowicz is a student in the Goodwin College Child Study program, with a promising future ahead. With an internship already lined up at Goodwin’s Riverside Magnet School, she is excited to once again work in the field she loves.
Her outlook on education aligns closely with the Riverside Magnet School’s philosophy. “I want children to be creative,” Cichowicz said, “and I want them to be able to choose how they learn.”
By observing careers at a number of educational settings and by having her professors share their own experiences with her, she hopes to expose herself to the wide variety of options she will be able to pursue with this degree. “Not only can you teach, but you can also become a director, a family engagement coordinator, a reading specialist, and so much more,” she explained.
An East Hartford native with a 7-year-old daughter to care for, Cichowicz appreciates the convenience of the magnet school’s location and class times. “My daughter and I do our homework together. I want to be a good example for her and show her that, even if something unfortunate happens in your life, you can pick yourself up.”
Her long-term goal is to advocate for a more open style of teaching by conducting and providing research.
To those who encounter their own challenges along the path to a fulfilling career, Cichowicz advises, “There are a lot of people out there — like I was — who can’t afford to pay their bills and are working at fast food restaurants or similar jobs. Don’t think you can’t do it. You can — and Goodwin can help.”
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.