James Cook loves children. He feels strongly that they need positive role models, especially male role models. It’s the main reason he is pursuing an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) at Mott Community College. “I want to be a positive role model. I believe if you start working with children early and get them on the right path, then they will never forget those early lessons,” he said.
“It is important for men to go into education,” James said, “there are so many absent fathers. Kids need that male presence. There are great mothers that raise kids on their own, but there is something about that male presence, and it is equally important for boys and girls,” he added.
James is already having a positive impact on children as a special needs school bus driver for the Genesee Intermediate School District and as a volunteer for after school programs at Freeman Elementary School in Flint. He also helps out at JobCorps.
After recently completing his Associate degree in General Studies, James plans to continue his studies to earn the Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. “I want to work in an urban school district and eventually work in an early childhood classroom,” he said.
James enjoys the close-knit feel of Mott’s ECE program. He values the experience and knowledge his instructors bring to the classroom, and appreciates the diversity of the students.
“It is interesting when we all come from different backgrounds and different experiences, but we find common ground through our classroom discussions,” he said.