Friendship is a family. It’s something that you have to invest in, and that’s precisely the reason why I’ve been here for 20 years. It is deeply meaningful to know that I have touched so many lives.
You have been at Friendship Chamberlain since 1998. What has your experience been like?
I learned a lot and I have filled many roles. I started out as a reading tutor, and then I moved to support a kindergarten classroom.
I heard about Friendship when I was looking for a school for my daughter. After attending an open house, I decided to enroll her in first grade. I came every morning to bring her to school and I enjoyed helping the teachers. Whenever they needed assistance they often remembered, “Ms. Price can help!”
When the principal heard about me, he said, “I want to hire you! Be here Monday morning at eight o’clock.” So that’s what I did. I have enjoyed it so much that I stayed for 20 years.
What I love about Friendship is that if you have specific passions, you can apply them here. I wanted to work with special education children, so I was given the opportunity to go into a class and assist special education teachers. Now, after all these years, I concentrate on seventh and eighth grade special needs students and help them with their class work, homework, projects, and anything else I can do to help them move forward academically.
During this time, I helped to establish the afterschool program, Friendship Cares. I supported it for many years while working with Michael Robinson and Gail Sivels. I also supported Gail with the Saturday program called Smart Cookies. I have been supportive in several various capacities over the years, and whenever anything needed to be done, I did it.
What have you found most rewarding?
Working with children at every level. I love supporting scholars and finding them what they need. One of my previous scholars who I met in first grade just graduated last year from high school with honors and I went to her going-away college party.
It is rewarding to see what can happen if you give kids time and love. The staff at Friendship genuinely embraces all children – it’s not just a job. Many have spent additional time with the kids and bought them clothes and food.
Friendship is a family. It’s something that you have to invest in, and that’s precisely the reason why I’ve been here for 20 years. It is deeply meaningful to know that I have touched so many lives. Kids always come back and say, “You’re still here!”
Now I tell them I am retiring and they reply, “But I have a grandchild that’s coming next year. Can’t you stay one more year?”
But it’s time to go. I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned a lot and it has been good. Friendship has been good to me. There are good people here who I will dearly miss when I leave.