As a college student, Allison Perez, career and college counseling intern, mindlessly registers for the “Child Development 10” class to get her general education course over with. Almost a decade later, she spends her days enthusiastically working with preschool children. From their fiery temper tantrums to their infectious senses of curiosity, Perez never guessed that one college class would alter her perspective forever.
Since mid-January, Perez has been interning at the school under Career Technical Education Adviser Paulina Serrano, while working as a preschool teacher. She weaves her work experiences into her career advising.
“I love learning how to be a counselor and seeing a different side of counseling other than the typical socio-emotional part of it,” Perez said. “This one’s more academic and career-based. It’s an area that I’d like to learn more about, especially since having a great community college counselor in high school is essential.”
Although Perez enjoyed working with younger students, this new career venture is a “breath of fresh air” that will round out her skills in child development. Despite the age difference in the groups of students she works with, Perez acknowledges that there are a handful of similarities, and her experience has ensured her a relatively smooth transition.
“I work with four to five year olds, and a lot of what I do is working on how they feel and express themselves,” Perez said. “I feel like teenagers also are going through the same changes. They don’t always understand their feelings. The difference is that you have to come at them from a different angle.”
Perez hosted a Zoom workshop to discuss the nuances of child development with students yesterday at 1:30 p.m. Throughout the trajectory of her career, she aspires to share her insight, experiences, and enthusiasm with students who might fall in love with the study of child development like she did.
“I’ve learned a lot from child development, especially that every little victory is a great victory,” Perez said. “I hope that people will see that pursuing the field of child development is not just sitting on a rug and playing with toys with kids. You can do so much more with it and make such a big difference.”