Meet The Team

IMG_0033_edited.jpg

Jazmin Norman

Founder

Proud 2 Be Me is one of my long-standing dreams coming to life! As owner and coordinator, my passion for working with children dates back as far as I can remember.  Spending most of my childhood and adult life in different parts of Essex County, I understand the importance of cultural confidence, education,
and structure in the lives of children. It was no surprise when my first job was as a camp counselor.  It was such a memorable and fulfilling experience for me!  During my high school years, I continued to work with children.  My peers and I participated in a peer leadership program to create programs that targeted the young people in our communities.Deciding a career path to pursue in college was a challenge, but ultimately I chose Dental Hygiene (which I love to this very day). While attending college at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ— it solidified my passion to continue working with children. Since graduating, I have worked at several pediatric dental offices. My desire to work with children has grown more than I could have imagined through these experiences.  I started on my journey to develop a learning center that focuses on self-esteem, education, cultural history, fun, and the fundamentals of life.
 
Many of my future scholars and their parents may recognize me from different local  pediatric dental offices  or from their schools working with Onsite Dental Team cleaning their teeth and educating them on dental health. This time provided me the opportunity to recognize and research some of the needs of our community all while developing trust filled relationships with the children and their parents.

IMG_3917.heic

Brandi Smith

Lead Teacher

My students call me Ms. Bee.

I am buzzing with tons of energy, a lot of love, enthusiasm and unlimited creativity. My personal goal is to encourage my students to thrive academically, develop a positive attitude about life and to build confidence within themselves. 

My specialization is in English Language Arts, while studying at Pillar College in pursuit of my Elementary Education degree. I am currently earning an International Early Childhood Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center (NAMC). 

Working with children under the Montessori Method in a “child-centered” environment has greatly shifted my traditional classroom teaching style towards a natural pathway of guiding children along as they “direct themselves” while learning. 

As an Educator, I realized I am helping to shape the next generation of humanity. Therefore, I have made a personal goal to help advance the level of education in each child within my reach. 

It is my belief; our neighborhood children deserve all from an educator such as myself. They deserve all my educational expertise. They deserve all my attention to know they are valued, which instills respect for themselves and others. Lastly, they deserve all my creative energy as they partake in my magical world of music, visual arts, fashion design and sewing. 

During my journey here at Proud 2 Be Me, I am taking an integrated approach to teaching. I am blending both traditional and Montessori styles of learning. I am modeling the leadership skills desired in children that make me proud to be an Educator. I am guiding children in hopes they too will become great leaders, fluent readers, and respectable citizens. I am proud to be teaching, proud to be me, and proud to be, who my students call me,” Ms. Bee”!