10 Things you may not know but be interested in learning about ARCQE’s Board Members…

Ruth Okafor, Director at Large

• I began my role as a Board member for ARCQE….?

In October 2020

• What inspired my career in Early Learning?

I had the opportunity to teach elementary children (for some months) after my undergraduate degree in Nigeria. I loved it and could feel the passion to facilitate the children’s learning. This was the onset of my career change and ignited my passion to further enhance my knowledge in teaching (early childhood) when I joined my husband in Australia where I earned my postgraduate degree in early childhood teaching. Subsequently, I have been in several roles including kindergarten teaching, program director and early childhood instructor.

• Most influential career learning I have had to date.

I had the opportunity to take some early childhood courses during my undergraduate degree. They were quite interesting and supported my master’s degree in early childhood which was the significant milestone that have been quite influential in my career pathway.

• I was interested to serve as a volunteer Board member for ARCQE because….?

ARCQE is a unique organization that supports the early childhood field. I was interested in serving as a volunteer board member as ARCQE provides the platform where I am able to be a part of the wonderful team that works on enhancing quality in early childhood, supporting the children and the families as well as advocating for the professionals in the field.

• How has my role as a Board member for ARCQE benefited me personally…?

Personally, I have learnt a lot since I joined the board. For instance, listening to the other board members during our meetings as we share ideas and learn from each other, working as a team with the professionals (other board member) who have diverse experiences, skills and knowledge and having all of these ideas put together for a common goals.

• Favourite leadership quote is….?

‘Tough times never last, but tough people do’ – by Robert Schuller.

• One thing you may not know, but would be interested to learn about me is….?

I sing in the choir and play the clarinet.

• In my spare time I like to….

watch movies, have fun with my children and spent time with my husband.

• Proudest moment….?

One of my proudest moment was on the kindergarten graduation day for my first group (class) of children years ago. I couldn’t be more proud of them all as they were all dressed in their graduation gowns, seated with their family members’ videoing the graduation ceremony with tears of joys. It reminded me that my influence as an early childhood professional lives forever in the hearts of these children and their families as these early years form the foundation for future development and learning.

• Someone who has been a memorable mentor to me is…?

Nikolai Veresov – one of my lecturers during my postgraduate studies at Monash University Australia.