YFCS Alumni applies their knowledge and skills to support parents, caregivers and children | Agricultural and human sciences

“Children have always meant something to me,” says Kylie Rymanowicz, a 2011 graduate of NC State’s Masters in Family Life and Youth Education program.

Rymanowicz has worked with children, parents, and caregivers in a variety of settings throughout her career and has found graduate school in Family Life Education at NC State to be the perfect complement to her job. “After graduating from high school and working in a preschool classroom,” says Rymanowicz, “I discovered a passion for working with parents and caregivers, helping them support the growth and development of young children. I loved the challenge of translating information and best practices into advice and support”. Rymanowicz says pursuing a master’s degree in family life and youth education with a concentration in parent education broadened her knowledge and understanding of child development and prepared her for various career options in family life. “My career path has always been centered around gaining this understanding and knowledge, and finding innovative and meaningful ways to convey this information to families and other professionals,” she notes.

After graduating, Rymanowicz became a certified family life educator and spent seven years working as a child and family educator for Extension of Michigan State University. “When you work for cooperative extension, you do a bit of everything! says Rymanowicz. “I spent my time there developing and delivering educational programs for parents, caregivers and early childhood service providers, creating resources for families, and even wrote a book on mindfulness”.

While at Michigan State University Extension, Rymanowicz also contributed to a parent education program titled Developing Early Emotional Skills (BEES), which worked to reduce parent stress and increase child social-emotional development through an eight-week course. The BEES program was selected as the first national and regional winner for the Human Development and Family Relations Award by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences at their 2016 Annual Session Awards.

Rymanowicz recently moved into a new role as Content Developer for Hatch Early Learning, which strives to apply high-quality technology in early learning settings. In her new role, Rymanowicz is developing learning activities for the Ignite by Hatch app that aim to prepare children for school and support their learning throughout the first year, while allowing teachers to assess children’s learning and provide targeted support. Activities support seven fundamental areas of child development: social, emotional, physical, language and communication, literacy, math, science and technology, and social studies. “When it comes to technology, the message to families and professionals used to be ‘turn it off! says Rymanowicz, “but we know the technology is not going away. Developing thoughtfully and purposefully designed software to support learning at school and at home is a way to ensure children have valuable learning experiences and increase the equity of early learning experiences. positive.

Throughout her career, Rymanowicz has been inspired by people who embrace emotional resilience. “Emotional resilience involves being vulnerable, which is especially difficult in the workplace. But my past vulnerability has led me to close, meaningful relationships at work and the humility needed to learn and grow.

Looking ahead, Rymanowicz is excited to explore all that her new position has to offer. “Over the next 5 years, I hope to transition more fully into my current position and specifically support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in this work. Later, she is excited about the idea of ​​opening her own family life education business, to provide education and coaching to parents and caregivers. “I want to continue to support children and families in everything I do.”

Rymanowicz presented a session titled “Translating Parenting Curricula into Effective Online Formats” at the 2021 Family Life Education Summit, held in June 2021. Learn more about the summit and purchase session recordings at the National Council for Family Relations website.

Donald E. Patel