Provider Spotlight - Odrea Dixon, Pathways

Dedicated and passionate are two words the staff at the Pathways Eagle Rock Child Development Center uses to describe Site Director Odrea Dixon.

"We have students of very different backgrounds attending this program," said Lead Preschool Teacher Yolanda Villegas. "Every child is different, and Odrea is very devoted to helping this community. That way, as a staff, we can connect and accommodate each child to help them become more confident and ready for kindergarten."

Dixon has worked in the early education field for more than 20 years and says her role at the center often includes finding resources for struggling families to better their current situation.

"We have a lot of single families with two to three kids typically in the home and on welfare from the Glassell Park and Cypress Park neighborhoods," continued Dixon. "I help families with all of the day-to-day things like finding a doctor, welfare services and improving their own education because if the parents are in a better place, then they might have time to become more involved in their child’s education, and I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen."

In addition to Dixon’s work with children and their families, her other main focus is to raise the level of educated workers in the early education field. She says she strives to offer competitive pay rates and benefits for her teachers.

"We partner with Los Angeles Community College to bring in students to let them job shadow and see the real day-to-day work, " Dixon noted. "I encourage these students to see the work that goes into preschool, lesson planning and all of the responsibilities because when I started in the child development field, people thought it was an easy and quicker way to get through school. This is hard work, and we need a skilled workforce to help the children reach their full potential."

Odrea Dixon says her long term plan is to continue putting band-aids on cuts, balancing the school’s budget and doing everything in between because it’s helping to serve the many needs of this community. "I find it natural for me to be in this type of social service role, because this work does my heart good."

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