‘I was born to do this’: Local woman thrives on teaching, plans to open enrichment center

GUILFORD COUNTY, NC (WGHP) — Tammy Gilchrist has an infectious love for children.

“I really enjoy working with these little children. I do, and I feel like I was born to do this,” she said.

As natural as Gilchrist works with children, she didn’t start her career in the classroom.

“Throughout this journey, I was a telephone operator. I worked in grocery stores but ended up in teaching because I got laid off,” Gilchrist said.

Being fired as a telephone operator was a minor setback that prepared her to pursue her dream career – being a teacher.

She got her foot in the door as a substitute teacher with Children and families first at one of its High Point locations.

Gilchrist heard about the agency’s Child Development Associate apprenticeship program.

The program gave her the free credentials she needed to become a primary teacher working with infants and toddlers.

She completed the program in six months.

Gilchrist is happy in her new role and feels a great sense of accomplishment as she prioritizes her career goals.

“What is gratifying for me overall is to see that I have this certificate here. I achieved something for myself,” she said. “To hold this certificate, and it says my name and not someone else’s name, [it’s] so rewarding because I know it’s a step towards what I want to do.

Gilchrist is moving forward with plans to earn his associate’s degree.

She was accepted into the TEACH program and plans to enroll at Guilford Technical Community College in the spring.

Gilchrist hopes to one day operate his own enrichment center.

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