Early Childhood Major Cleans and Organizes Her Way Towards Fulfilling Her and Her Late Mother’s Dream

June 16, 2022

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—School has always come easy for Belle Venticinque, an early childhood education major whom expects to graduate in Fall of 2023, but not everything in her life has been smooth sailing. Belle lost her mom in a fatal car accident when she was twelve. When her dad remarried, his priorities shifted and she was forced to become more independent.

Belle Venticinque

“I knew in the middle of my sophomore year that teaching was my calling. I grew up working around children because my mom was a children's pastor, and I loved every chance I got to be “in charge” and help take care of the littles. Since losing my mom, my heart has just grown bigger and bigger for children - especially the ones who really need the support and love that may be more difficult to come by,” explained Belle.

She knew that WMU had a great Education Program, and also felt really drawn to WMU because of its location. She grew grew up going to Indian Lake, in Vicksburg Michigan, to visit family and friends all throughout her childhood - and has continued to do so into her adulthood. “Kalamazoo has been such an important place for me all my life, so when I had the opportunity to apply to Western Michigan University, I couldn’t think of a better school for me!”

When she arrived in Kalamazoo, she took a job at a local church daycare. After the pandemic hit, however, the daycare eventually shut down and she was left without a job. Fortunately for her, she had been getting to know one of the families at the daycare, who was now also suddenly out of help with their children. She ended up moving in with them as a full-time nanny to save money on rent.

As part of her responsibilities, she helped keep the house clean and the mother of the family quickly realized that Belle had a real talent for keeping things neat and organized. She recognized that these skills could be Belle’s ticket through school and encouraged her to start a cleaning business to cover the cost of her tuition. 

“All throughout my life, I have been a tidy person, and I’ve loved the satisfaction I got from cleaning and organizing spaces, but I had never thought I could start my own business - especially while being a full time student at university. Although, here I am two years later, with a growing clientele and the pride of starting something amazing all by myself,” explained Belle.

She found that her new business gave her the freedom to set her own work hours which allows her to prioritize her school work and make good grades. “As my time at WMU progressed, I got better and better at managing my time between school and work - so much so that I haven’t had to bring work home on the weekends in the last three years. I feel as though this has been a crucial aspect to my academic success. By allowing myself to take a whole weekend off to enjoy my social life, and personal time, it really motivates me to work hard during the weekdays,” shared Belle.

So far, Belle has completed one pre-internship and will complete several more before starting her teaching internship in the fall of 2023. “I am so passionate about what I am studying for and I couldn't be more excited to get into the classroom! Getting to do what I've worked so hard for is going to be such a blessing and I CAN NOT wait!!” said Belle.

In March of 2022, Belle learned her mom had aspired to be an elementary teacher herself. “Unfortunately, she never got to live out that aspiration herself,” shared Belle, “but I believe that God has placed her passion for children and education within me. I am so beyond thankful for the opportunity to be able to go to university and get my education so that I can live out my mom's dream to the fullest.”

Once she graduates, she plans to pursue a job as a Kindergarten-3rd grade teacher in an elementary school, ideally somewhere close to Indian Lake. She plans to keep her cleaning business up and running for as long as she can, but she cannot wait to get into her own classroom and really get a chance to motivate and influence young minds. “Young children ARE our future, and I am so excited to get to be a part of shaping those future generations!”

Though the details of Belle’s future career have yet to be determined, one thing is clear: Ms. Venticinque’s room is certain to be neat, clean and organized!