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Meet Nicole Austin of Purest Academy for Kids in Lakewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Austin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Purest Academy is a non-profit Preschool dedicated to providing AFFORDABLE, high-quality child care/preschool services to low and moderate-income families.

Growing up, I always maintained an affinity for working with children. It was inevitable that I would choose a career involving kids, however, that decision would not be solidified until 2014.

In 2008, I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Philosophy. I went on to take Prerequisite courses to enter into a Physician’s Assistant Program specializing in Pediatrics. During this time, I was working at a clothing store and my mother (who just recently retired from a successful career in Education), convinced me to become a substitute teacher. Needless to say, I fell in LOVE with Teaching. I went on to enroll in a Master’s & Credential Program in order to become a Kindergarten Teacher, however, I felt that something was missing…

Throughout my years as a Substitute Teacher, I had the opportunity to Sub in some of the best areas, as well as some of the “not so nice” areas. I began to see a difference in resources and how it directly affected each child’s overall educational experience. I had a passion to instill a LOVE for LEARNING into children at an early age… I had no idea HOW early until I enrolled my oldest daughter into a child care center. I asked if I could help out at the Preschool and the rest was history! Well, almost…

I went back to school to enroll in the proper courses to become a Pre-school Teacher. My experiences at different Preschools in various locations showed me that difference in resources still existed and subsequently the children were subject to the learning environment that was afforded to them. God gave me a clear Vision to open a Pre-school that provides families with that high-quality educational experience regardless of their financial circumstances.

I had NO idea where we would get the resources to open a Preschool. We did not have the money, but I decided to do MY part and stay out of God’s business! I went on to complete my Masters in Education, ECE Certificate, and the appropriate ECE Administration Courses. Through Prayer, support from family/friends and diligence, my Husband and I opened Purest Academy for Kids. The process was long, tough, and often times discouraging but we persevered with God’s strength, and it was worth it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was far from smooth! (Laughs) Truthfully, we just did not have the funding, and it seemed as though no matter how hard we tried to get it, it would never happen for us. As a non-profit, we searched and searched for Grants, but we could never find a stable Grant Writer to help us fulfill the grant writing and submission process. We were also turned down for loans often due to our non-profit status.

Trusting God is Key! He always placed incredible people in our path when we needed help the most in order to fulfill some of our financial needs along the way. When we truly placed everything in His hands, things would just come together EVERY TIME… RIGHT ON TIME!

We’d love to hear more about your organization.
Purest Academy is a non-profit Preschool dedicated to providing AFFORDABLE, high-quality child care to low and moderate-income families.

We provide Care for children as young as six weeks old up to 6 years old. Our Program boasts a creative and fun-loving Curriculum. We believe that Children’s brains at this age are like sponges, you would be surprised how much they can learn.

The key is making learning fun! We do that at Purest Academy! We actively participate in attention-grabbing learning activities both in and out of the classroom. We take two educational field trips every year! We also have a very close-knit atmosphere where parents and Staff connect organically.

The Staff at Purest Academy is the BEST Staff on the face of this Earth! These Ladies work hard day in and day out acting as Mommies, Daddies, Sisters, Aunties, Friends, Counselors, Doctors, etc. on a daily basis, all while providing a SAFE, LOVING, and NURTURING environment for every child enrolled. I thank the Lord constantly for the Staff He Blessed me with. These women are incredible, and I am incredibly grateful for them.

We would love to continue growing and providing Child Care Services for even more families for years to come. Purest Academy is a 501(c)3 and donations are Tax Deductible. If anyone would like to support our cause please visit our Website PurestAcademyforKids.org and click the “Make A Donation or “Support Us” link to donate. We also accept checks mailed directly to our Preschool as well. Donations help our Program to continue thriving and supporting the families in need in our Community!

What were you like growing up?
I had to be one of the goofiest people you could ever come across. I was just extremely silly! I loved to joke and laugh and play. I enjoyed making people laugh. My biggest joy involved holding babies. Instead of playing with the other children, I could sit for hours just holding a baby. It brought me so much joy.

I participated in dance and piano lessons when I was younger (didn’t really care for the latter). I went on to start track and field at the age of 10. I ran track for 13 years before hanging up my spikes.

I was a child that would never give up. I used to push myself saying it didn’t matter how slow I had to go, as long as I NEVER STOPPED! I still live by that!

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