SCIENCE: Students at EdSperience (Above) gaze curiously at the jarred butterfly larva called “chrysalis” before Ms. Humes places them in the netted cage (not pictured) for viewing.
The economic culture has been hard for many, so it’s rare to see those who are casted a bad lot turn their misfortune into positivity by starting their own company. This is what one ex-teacher did in the summer of 2012. After teaching 5th grade math and receiving that dreaded pink slip, Tonya Humes gathered her pride and her retirement money and started EdSperience Child Development Center, a preschool located in South Central Los Angeles.
“I was completely terrified,” says Humes regarding taking what amounted to her life savings and investing it into a run-down building, “It has been my dream for 12 years, but I never really had the money to start it. One day I decided to jump out there and try it, so I pulled out my retirement money.”
Armed with a college degree, a multiple subject credential, and faith, Humes did just that. After locating and researching a building, she set about to make her dream a reality, “The building was in shambles. I had been trying to get information on the building for three years, so in the meantime, I had my logo created and typed the address of the building I had my eye on all over my house and 3 years later it became a reality!”
Starting a business is no small feat, and for some is a daunting experience that never comes into fruition. When the California Department of Social Services is involved it can add to the frustrations that can sometimes become overwhelming. “I had the building since April of 2012”, said Humes, “and was quickly depleting my savings. I had friends that were impatiently waiting for me to open, because they knew that I was a good teacher but I couldn’t open until licensing came through the building and licensed it. Waiting on licensing was stressful, because they came out according to their own schedules. I had no job and no money coming in, but continued to keep faith in God, who I believe put me in that position to be something greater to the inner city community.”
Tanya Humes was not to be discouraged and pushed forward building, painting, researching, investing and risked losing her house and car until the day she opened the doors of 1145 West Manchester Ave. “Licensing finally came out on September 17, 2012 and licensed my building. I laid in my bed and cried in disbelief that it had finally happened.”
“The first day was like a dream. It was unbelievable that it was really happening,” Humes continued teary eyed, “I had 4 kids the day I opened. I now have 18 five months later and we are still growing very quickly. All parents are interviewed before being accepted and we are working on getting IPads in the building for each preschooler. We also purchased a Smartboard which is an interactive white board for learning.
Pushing her students to learn above grade level curriculums as well as private school style behavior and discipline has been in the works for EdSperience since its inception. “I make sure that the kids are not just taught the old school way.” Humes said regarding the EdSperience’s curriculum, “They are constantly learning through real life experiences. They move from class to class like middle school children do. They begin in math, then English language arts, where they are already in the beginning stages of reading.”
For more information on enrollment for EdSperience Child Development Center go to www.theedsperience.com/ or call (323) 750-5561.
Photos by Troy Tieuel