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Lydia Bowers has been in the early childhood education field for over 15 years. She began as an assistant teacher in infant and toddler rooms, and then as a lead preschool teacher. Some of that time was as a single mother, hoping to better herself but unable to afford finishing her degree, or taking time off of work to do so. Through company support she was able to complete her CDA certification. She received a scholarship to the Ohio AEYC conference, and was eager to help give back to NAEYC however she could. She joined the Ohio AEYC Leadership Committee, and then the Cincinnati AEYC Governing Board. Upon the birth of her son, the cost of childcare was more than the income of an ECE teacher, so she took the opportunity to stay home with him. This additional time at home allowed her to become more involved with the Cincinnati governing board, where she took on the role of Communications committee chair and helped redesign and launch a new website and social media communications.
When she applied for the Affiliate Advisory Council in 2015, it was because she felt she could provide a voice as one of the many educators out there who work in this field for the passion they feel, but are not provided the adequate wages or education support they so desperately need. She has been a part of workgroups to write the council’s new policies and procedures, and to plan and present Leadership Day activities and programming at the 2016 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. She has enjoyed the interactions and conversations with other professionals from around the country, and the understanding of the bigger picture and new perspectives that brings. She appreciates how being a part of the Council has helped her better understand the goals and vision that NAEYC wants to share with all its members, and the world.
Lydia’s educator experience and passions have expanded into the sexual health field, specifically helping families and educators understand and appropriately support sexual development in children, and has led workshops on these topics around the country. In addition to her work on the Affiliate Advisory Council, Lydia also serves as an ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, and as a sexual health educator and consultant on a freelance basis and for O.School, an online platform for free sexual health education. She loves to have conversations about the intersections of early childhood and sexuality education, and to help professionals in both fields better understand each other. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children.