Finding Her Calling: UWG Psychology Student Volunteers Time at University’s Pre-K

Julie Lineback, Taylor King

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

One simple assignment at the University of West Georgia led Nyah Jordan toward her future career. 

The UWG sophomore, a psychology major, was tasked with observing children and their interactions at playgrounds. She knew UWG’s College of Education just happened to operate a state-of-the-art site committed to such research on campus, so she contacted Dr. Chelsea Morris, faculty director of the Early Learning Center

“From the first moment, I could see myself being there for a while,” Jordan recalled. “I went back every day for three months – even on my days off. In addition to seeing how the students learn, there are also opportunities to learn about yourself.”

Today, Jordan’s volunteer opportunity has evolved into a federal work-study program at the Early Learning Center. In addition to assisting the teachers, Jordan helps put together different projects and activities for the children.

“This helps the other teachers see how the kids learn and react,” she explained. “It also helps the children learn how to express their feelings.”

Psychology has always been one of Jordan’s passions. She enjoys learning about how other people’s minds work.

“I am interested in different age groups, like toddlers and adolescents,” she said. “It’s just really interesting to see them react to different things, or the same things in different ways.”

During her time at UWG, Jordan has been impacted by faculty and staff members from two colleges – the College of Education’s Ashley Poole and the College of Arts, Culture, and Scientific Inquiry’s Dr. Cassandra Bolar.

Both Bolar and Poole said they are excited to see where Jordan goes from here.

“I look forward to seeing Nyah direct her passion for early childhood into research and practice,” said Bolar, assistant professor of psychology. “I think she would serve as a phenomenal asset to this field, and I know that she will make a positive difference in the lives of young children.”

“Nyah is caring, kind and dependable,” said Poole, manager of the Early Learning Center. “I am so glad that we get to be a part of her experience at UWG.”

For this new academic year, Jordan will continue volunteering at the Early Learning Center. Her long-range plan is to be a play therapist/counselor for children.

“The pandemic delayed a few things, but now I’m starting to pick up the pace,” she concluded. “I’m beginning to find myself at the Pre-K.”