February 26, 2014
The daughter of a maid and a truck driver, a college education seemed out of reach for Essie Childers. Now an educator for 27 years, the Blinn College Humanities professor is earning accolades for her accomplishments.
Childers was recently named a recipient of the 2013 On Course Ambassador of the Year Award by On Course Founder Skip Downing, whose national organization serves college and university educators who seek innovative ways to help students pursue and continue education. On Course offers professional development workshops and instructional resources to help educators empower students to become active, responsible and successful learners.
“I knew I could be what I wanted if I worked hard and stayed focused on my goal,” Childers said. “I hope my students and the young women I mentor will look at my life and be inspired.”
In 2012, Childers founded the Young Ladies Success Seminar (YLSS), an annual one-day conference intended to instill a college-going culture in middle and high school girls. The seminar tripled its attendance in just its second year.
“Young women need mentors,” Childers said. “At that age, especially, they need guidance in making decisions for the future. I want to assure girls that they are capable of doing college-level work and becoming who they’ve always aspired to be. ”
Childers, a graduate of Abilene Christian University and the University of Texas at Tyler, was also recently named president-elect of the Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA), comprised of more than 6,000 teachers and administrators across the state. Childers has been a TCCTA member for 11 years and is the first professor from Blinn College to serve on the executive board. She served as treasurer and vice president before being named president-elect.
“I’m thrilled to be able to represent Blinn College,” Childers said. “I’m ready to represent not only Blinn, but colleges across the state by listening to educators’ challenges and providing a voice for them.”
Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs. To register for eight-week courses by March 5 or learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.