Mingus is a funny, compassionate, and driven Minneapolis resident. He worked at Lunds for over 10 years while earning his Associate’s Degree of Liberal Arts but knew he wanted to give more back to his community. Since September of 2014, Mingus has been an important contributor to the team at Mayflower Early Childhood Center, a Montessori preschool in South Minneapolis. Mayflower offers high quality early childhood education to economically diverse families. He says this is his favorite job he’s ever had.
Mingus spent his first school year at Mayflower as a dishwasher and classroom cleaner. He quickly established meaningful relationships with both the staff and children, but had a yearning to advance his role.
In the fall of 2015, Mingus moved into the position of being an Aide for the After Care program. He spends his time on the playground, preparing snacks and setting up activity rooms, as well as leads the children through their end-of-day activities. “Mingus is happy to toss a Frisbee with a child, pull several children on a sled, sing along with them, and read books. He has developed a good relationship with the rest of the staff and is a thoughtful, kind and responsible member of our community. It is a pleasure to work with him, and I can tell how much he enjoys being with the children and other staff,” says Nanci, Mayflower’s Director.
“I’m in a really good place in my life right now,” Mingus states with a smile. “I feel welcomed by my boss and coworkers, and I love to work with the children. Everyone supports me naturally with what I’ve got to give, and I support them, too.” It is clear when speaking with Mingus that he genuinely enjoys the work he does. When asked what his favorite activity to do at Mayflower is, Mingus said that he “likes reading to children while outside because it’s a combination of the two best things.”
Mingus claims he wouldn’t be where he is today without Community Involvement Programs and his Employment Consultant, Raena Davison. “I appreciate that CIP strikes the right balance of providing me with independence and knowing when to help. Raena is not critical, but constructive.” Mingus says that the most valuable supports that he receives from having an Employment Consultant are note taking during employment meetings, assistance in keeping track of electronic communications, and advocacy for the development of his career. He says in conclusion “I cannot stress enough how important it is that Raena doesn’t come at my boss or at me, she comes to us.”
Mingus is happy to report that he will be with Mayflower this summer and throughout the 2016-2017 school year, with plans to pursue training to become a substitute in the fall.
To find more information regarding the great work done at Mayflower Early Childhood Center, visit http://www.mayflowerchildren.org/ or call 612-825-5914.
Author and Photo credits: Raena Davison, Employment Consultant