Meet Jamiese: Child and family development

"Before WMU I wasn't really the person to like reach out for help. So I when I got here, I took advantage of every opportunity there was."

Listen to Jamiese's interview on Deep Dive! 

Podcast: Deep Dive w/ Dr. John, Episode #14 
Publisher: The Kalamazoo Promise

Jamiese Edmonson (B.S.'14, child and family development, M.A. '22, youth and community development) is currently working at Kalamazoo Regional Education Services Agency as a career coach in the Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) program. YOU was created to serve at-risk youth in Kalamazoo and was one of the first organizations designed to assist high school dropouts through reconnection to education and employment training. Jamiese is also a Kalamazoo Promise alumnus, graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School in 2016. 

The Kalamazoo Promise provides full scholarships to any public college in Michigan for all graduates who had received their elementary and secondary schooling in the Kalamazoo Public Schools. Since the establishment of the Kalamazoo Promise in 2005, Promise-type programs have been initiated in numerous other cities in the U.S. Funding for the Kalamazoo Promise is being provided by a small group of anonymous donors. For more information visit WMU's Kalamazoo Promise page.

  • What have you been doing since graduating from WMU?

    I work at Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA), right now. I'm a career coach, so I really just focus on youth development like through career related activities, internships, connecting them with apprenticeships and programs here in the community. We work on eliminating barriers to employment. I was actually a participant in where I worked when I was 14.

  • Was child and family development your first choice?

    When I went to western I actually started as a business major, but then I ended up changing it to child and family development. I wanted something more personal, and in business I didn't feel that when I started. 

  • Are you a first-generation student?

    My mom did graduate from western the same semester as me in 2020, but before that I was technically first generation.

    My mom went back to school, she had me when she was 19. She was going to Kalamazoo Valley Community College but she could not finish her classes. She just needed to work and do real life. And so she went back in 2017 and finished her degree. So we graduated technically the same semester but it was COVID, so we didn't walk together.

  • How did you use resources on campus?

    Before college I wasn't really the person to like reach out for help. That just wasn't me. So I  when I got to college, I was like I need to take advantage of every opportunity there is.

  • What would you tell your younger self to help them in the use of The Kalamazoo Promise?

    I would tell myself, you don't have to have a set plan. You don't have to jump into thinking you know everything and just going with a definite one-way plan. And you can honestly just figure somethings out, take some electives, just get comfortable with college.

Child development and services at WMU

The family science and human development: child development (formerly child and family development) and services concentration prepares individuals to work with children, and their families, in a range of care and service settings. This concentration centers on the development of children, birth through school age, and the cultivation of skills, environments, and programs that promote healthy child development and outcomes. Interpersonal relationships and communications; diverse family systems; parent education; family law and policy; and professional ethics and competencies are emphasized. 

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