Mary McKinnon’s career began with her taking a job at a day care center near her home in New Orleans at eighteen years After working for about eighteen months, Ms. McKinnon was encouraged to begin attending a university for teacher …

Mary McKinnon’s career began with her taking a job at a day care center near her home in New Orleans at eighteen years After working for about eighteen months, Ms. McKinnon was encouraged to begin attending a university for teacher training The summer after she completed high school, Ms. McKinno enrolled at Xavier University and began attending classes with a goal toward a degree in elementary education, specifically concentrating on early childhood education. After a few years attending Xavier University on a part-time basis, Ms. McKinnon graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and initially worked in Orleans Parish Schools as a substitute teacher. After finding the position somewhat inadequate, Ms. McKinnon moved with her husbandto another area located in the mid-south where she worked as an educator for about four years in various types of education programs. In the 1980’s I returned to New Orleans with her husband and three children and returned to teaching in Orleans Parish Schools. In 1987 after deciding she wanted to make a change in the type of students she wanted to teach, Ms. McKinnon completed the requirements for a Master’s certificate in an education system known as Workshop Way, in which the behavior and attitudes of children were taken into consideration. She continued to teach in Orleans Parish Schools, but discovered the negative changes within the system and decided to teach pre-GED students. She taught for a period of two years, upgraded her computer skills, and finally resolved to teach in Jefferson Parish as a teacher in various assistant teacher Title One programs. Ms. McKinnon remained there until Hurricane Katrina and was relocated, during which time she worked with Americorp as a tutor in a classroom setting. In 2012 Ms. McKinnon did volunteer work at Norman Mayer Library where she met Ms. Noreen Jacobs at the Hope Community Resource Center. Once hearing about the Center’s mission, Ms. McKinnon was impressed with Ms. Jacobs’ passion and joined the Center as a tutor.