Shanequa Abbott founded Joy 2 Learn Preschool in Jefferson City in 2020. Her story, told to reporter Indah Setiawati, has been edited for length and clarity.
I have worked in childcare and wanted to teach and inspire children, but many places had limits on what could be taught and how much we can nurture the students. I wanted to be able to teach outside the box, but I also wanted my students to know they are safe and loved.
I went back to school, and started looking for a building. After that, I browsed the website of the Missouri Secretary of State to look into specific business licensing.
My biggest challenge has been how slowly things move during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had a lot of delays and lower enrollment due to COVID-19, but we just keep being our best selves and weather the storm.
I have learned determination and drive can take you a lot of places. I wanted to give up so many times before my doors opened, but I kept pushing no matter how discouraged I felt. That is what you just do to achieve your dreams. Keep pushing!