Home Lifestyle RichmondCC Early Childhood Education graduate finds her true calling with children

RichmondCC Early Childhood Education graduate finds her true calling with children

Tressa Pittman graduated from Richmond Community College with an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. She is now the lead teacher at Over the Rainbow Child Development Care. Photos by RCC

HAMLET — Tressa Pittman feels a sense of comfort when she sees the little smiles on children’s faces knowing that she made an impact on their life. The lead teacher at Over the Rainbow Child Development Care, Pittman isn’t just a teacher; she is also a friend to her students.

Pittman is a graduate of Richmond Community College’s Early Childhood Education program and has been working at Over the Rainbow for three years.

“The most rewarding part about this job is that I love what I do. I can help improve, develop, and grow a child’s life. Families depend on us as teachers to be role models for their children, and I plan every day to do just that,” Pittman said.

Pittman, a Purnell Swett High School graduate, enrolled in the Business Management program at Robeson Community College at the age of 20. However, things did not go as planned, so Pittman was unable to complete the program.

In 2017, Pittman enrolled at Ashford University (now known as The University of Arizona Global Campus). She was hit with yet another curveball and was unable to finish the program.

One year later Pittman decided to move her family to Richmond County for more opportunities. After talking things over with her family, Pittman decided to enroll in the Early Childhood Education program at RichmondCC in 2019.

“I chose RichmondCC because I have always heard it was a great school, and from my own experience it really is. I would recommend it to anyone,” Pittman said.

Despite her many stops and starts with college, going back to school was not a challenge for her until she had an unexpected child in her care.

“My husband and I gained temporary custody of our niece in 2020. Having our 10-year-old daughter and 1-year-old niece in the home at the same time was challenging for us,” Pittman said.

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Pittman jokes that she has been “stuck” with children from day one and now they are “stuck” with her.

“I knew deep down that this is the path for me, and this is where God wants me to be. My passion is here, and this is where I am staying,” Pittman said.

Pittman is a first-generation college student, and her family could not be more proud of her.

“My husband and children were a huge help to make sure I accomplished this goal. In the end, everything worked out for the best,” Pittman said.

Pittman believes that all children need to get the proper help and guidance to become unique human beings as they grow. She loves being able to share her warmth and love with all families.

“At the end of the day I always feel great knowing that I made a difference in a child’s life,” Pittman said.

Pittman has been taking pre-licensing classes so she can operate her own daycare one day. She will continue to pursue her studies at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke in the Early Childhood Education program.

“I would recommend RichmondCC as one of the best schools that I ever attended. The teachers, faculty, and staff are friendly and helpful. They are all awesome,” Pittman said.

RichmondCC is registering students for the fall semester, which begins Aug. 17. Come to the Hamlet or Scotland County Campus to meet with a college advisor and schedule your classes or call Student Services at (910) 410-1700. Applications are free and be completed online at www.richmondcc.edu/admissions.com.

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