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Impact - The Generation Changer: Kristina Brown

Tags: Staff Profile
Published 11/28/2022
Kristina Brown, supervisor of child care services

Kristina Brown, supervisor of child care services

Kristina Brown graduated high school with interest in going to college but instead entered the workforce full time. Then, she received a graduation present from her uncle — a check payable to Elgin Community College for her to explore a few classes, so she did. As a first-generation college student, Brown considered majoring in English and becoming a college teacher. However, she changed her career choice once she began working as a student worker in the ECC Early Childhood Lab School.

"After only a semester of working in the child care center, I switched my major," said Brown. "When I graduated, I went on to try a few daycare centers but realized they were not my fit. I called ECC and asked if I could come back — I'm now in my 29th year here." Brown currently works as the supervisor of child care services.

As the second oldest of five children, Brown's positive experience helped influence her younger siblings. Her youngest sister earned an associate degree at ECC, and her middle sister also found her place working in ECC's child care center. Brown's two children also followed her lead, obtaining associate degrees from ECC and continuing on to Northern Illinois University for their bachelor's degrees. "My kids knew from an early age they needed to have some sort of an education to pursue what they wanted in life," said Brown. "Through my time in education, I was able to help them navigate certain areas of college, and in their decision to attend ECC, they were able to save money and still have a good experience like I did." Brown's son plans to earn a master's degree and aims to teach college English.

Brown's education didn't stop at ECC. She recently completed her bachelor's degree from Walden University. "I just worked my way through it, taking two to three classes at a time while continuing in the job I love at ECC," said Brown. "I owe it to my kids for influencing me to get my bachelor's degree. It was the right time in my life, and they gave me the push I needed while they continued to pursue degrees of their own."

To read more first-gen stories from this issue, visit the ECC IMPACT webpage.

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