Department of Education & Child Development

Why child development?

Being a child development major at Whittier College has allowed me to explore my options on being an advocate for children.

As a child, I knew I wanted to teach, but coming into college I was not sure what path to take. But then I took a child development class that exposed me to teaching children from diverse communities, and I knew where I want to begin my career.

As part of that class, I got involved in Jumpstart, a program which serves preschool children in local, low-income schools. That first-hand experience made me realize that I wanted to go back into communities similar to the one where I grew up in, using Jumpstart’s philosophy of sparking a change in children at an early point in their lives.

Ever since that opportunity, I wanted to know how else I could help children, and Whittier’s child development program opened up the perfect opportunity for me to explore what jobs I could pursue. For a whole semester, I volunteered at the Miller’s Children’s Hospital in Long Beach with their Child Life program, which opened my eyes to a world outside of the classroom.

After Whittier, I plan on giving back to my community. If there’s anything I have learned here is that it’s up to us to make a difference.

- Fernando Zaragoza
Child development major