12 May TRANSITIONING CHALLENGES INTO SUCCESS – RENEE HENDRICKSON, FOUNDER/ADMINISTRATOR – REN’S BRIGHT BEGINNERS’ PRE-SCHOOL & DAY CARE
Being exposed to the field of child care for more than twenty (20) years) coupled with her love for children led Renee Hendrickson to that desired space along the entrepreneurial realm. She explained “I grew up with my grandmother who was a teacher for many years, and I felt it important to continue her legacy with the opening of my own school.”
It all happened in July 2016 with an important intervention by YBTT. “YBTT assisted and supported me to grow my business financially; three days prior to the opening of my school, YBTT added the finishing layer in making it happen.”
As the school continues to evolve, Renee took the leap to employ two (2) teachers and she also took on the role of teacher in addition to maintaining the position of Founder/Administrator. With the unexpected visit by Covid-19 challenges immediately stepped in. According to Renee “my biggest challenges were the laying off my teachers and the complete closure of the school.”
With the urgent change in the environment, Renee quickly decided to reconfigure her business model so as to ensure that her students are able to enjoy the same level of quality service. “Though I was met with some resistance by some parents to invest in the new model, I proceeded to develop virtual classrooms and began offering classes to pre-schoolers.” With a current enrollment of seven (7) students and a dire need for this new model, Renee has extended her offer to the national community; classes are offered three (3) days per week ..two (2) hours daily. The virtual curriculum is further complemented by five (5) days of labeled work which is a combination of virtual and offline sessions. Renee boasts of being the first pre-school in Trinidad and Tobago to offer virtual classes which began on March 23rd, 2020.
Given the evolution in the delivery of education, Renee plans to maintain the virtual learning concept for the third term and beyond. “I would continue to monitor and evaluate the environment and reconfigure accordingly – something she describes as trouble shooting.” Looking at the lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic, Renee strongly suggest the development of a sustainable contingency plan that has some level of financial reserves. She ended “sometimes in life we do not foresee situations and as such are usually unprepared when they do come; continue to have faith in God as with him all things are possible.”