Category: Focus On Philanthropy

Grad Student Turns to Education

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Jayda Batchelder (back left) visits an eighth-grade class using Roadmap to Success at Stockard Middle School. (Photo: Can Turkyilmaz)

Jayda Batchelder had already enrolled in Tulane University’s graduate program when she was accepted to Teach For America for a two-year assignment in Dallas. Thinking she’d return to New Orleans after, she requested a leave of absence.

“It’s so funny how you make plans for yourself, but you don’t realize there’s definitely a much greater plan,” Batchelder said.

Batchelder taught eighth-grade science and saw improvement in students’ test scores. She visited those students the next year to prepare for her second year of teaching.


Giving Back to Caregivers

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TAIMH trains professionals with the skills necessary to improve the brain development of at-risk infants and toddlers. (Courtesy Photo)

The term “early childhood development” usually connotes pre-K or kindergarten. What about the years prior? That’s the question that Ashley Borthick sought to answer.

Borthick worked at an inpatient facility for children as an undergraduate at Southern Nazarene University.

“Children could be there 5 and older, and I remember thinking there had to be some kind of foundation for these kids before they reached the age of 5,” she said.

She pursued a master’s degree in human development and early childhood disorders. During her internship with Nexus Recovery Center, she was introduced to a tool that would help her create the healthy foundation that youth need prior to age 5: the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health.