As we get ready to begin a new school year (I know, I hear the groans some of you may not be ready yet, while others are anxious to get started) I can tell you how proud I am this year as my daughter Gia helps to open a new school! Not as a teacher or even an administrator, but as part of a Leadership Team as a Corporate HR staff member.
A funny thing happened along the way
I remember when I took my daughter to our school district’s Take Your Daughter To Work Day (approx. 22 yrs ago) when she was in High School and I was teaching a class of 28 2nd graders. At the end of the day, she was pooped and ready to go home and I told her I can’t leave yet, I have to get my classroom ready for tomorrow. That evening at dinner she did tell hubby and her brother that I really do need that nap when I get home to recharge my battery. She also told me “I’m never going to be a teacher, you work way too hard and don’t make enough money!” Everyone that has joined the profession knows money is not why we become teachers. I told her I’m doing what I love and the money will follow (didn’t know it would take about 20 years!)
But, it was always enough money to pay my student loans, get a graduate degree, help pay her tuition (with the help of scholarships and hubby’s paycheck) to an out-of-state college in North Carolina and get her degree in physics. (Everyone knows physicists make way more money than teachers). She always had a thing for “space” and NASA. (Maybe she’ll buy a house at the beach for Mommy!).
Heck her first internship was with Pratt & Whitney Jet Propulsion Lab including an apt in Palm Beach, FL! Another year she was sent to a conference in Puerto Rico as part of a team sharing their research at a poster session. She graduated and got a full ride to grad school (yes, I’m definitely getting that beach house…..I can smell the ocean breeze).
A Bump In The Road
Okay….here is where the story takes a turn. After a year of grad school, she decided she no longer “loved” physics…I reminded her you had to at least “like” it you a got a full ride to grad school! Her reasoning – she only liked the math, not the science anymore and decided she wanted to come home. (I’m thinking…wait, what about my beach house!) Before I knew it hubby was out the door and had her packed up and moved home.
Gia decided to enroll in an MBA program (which she paid for – welcome to the world of student loans). She got a job and went to school part-time while living with us to save some money. Baby Girl has always been an ambitious one, a true hard-worker and goal-setter. She graduated, got a better job working for one of Textron Industries’ companies. She honed her craft in HR and quickly began to climb the corporate ladder. Working for this defense contractor, her physics degree did allow her to at least understand what those engineers were talking about.
The Road Travels Back Down South
So when does this new school come into play you ask? Well the road took another turn…all the way to Augusta, GA! Another Textron Company, a promotion, and yes….more money. (Do what you love the money will follow and apparently in the corporate world money shows up sooner than the teaching profession).
EZ Go, part of Textron Specialized Vehicles and the Richmond County School System partnered to open a new school; which opened yesterday in Augusta, GA. The high school students will attend school ½ day and ½ day spent working in the manufacturing facility. These at risk students will be gaining work skills and possible future full time employment while earning their HS diploma and a paycheck! My Baby Girl (yes, the one that didn’t want to be a teacher) is a part of the Leadership Team that is opening this model school. She is excited and proud to be making a difference (sounds to me like at least a teacher gene or two ended up in her!).
Congrats Gia…we are so proud of you and all your accomplishments! Can’t wait to visit the school! I’m glad you followed your heart and my advice to do what you love because the money will follow.
PS … Please put house at the beach for Mommy on your list of goals.