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Filling a need: Indianapolis nonprofit helps aspiring teachers get their education

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Posted at 5:05 AM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 06:46:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Right now, in Indiana alone, there are more than 2,000 teaching positions open.

A local nonprofit here in Indianapolis is helping to fill the gap.

The 3000 block of North Meridian is where future educators are getting their start through a new apprenticeship program through Family Development Services.

It gives them the opportunity to get classroom experience while also getting their education.

“It means the world to me. I’m grateful for this opportunity,” said Jadra Flowers, an apprentice.

In just a few days, Flowers will welcome pre-school students into her classroom for the first time.

“Being a teacher is something that I’ve always wanted to do, so this was just the perfect opportunity for me to get back on track and accomplish my goals,” Flowers said.

Through Family Development Services, Flowers is able to become an apprentice, getting her education and classroom experience — all while making a livable wage.

“We’re helping to grow children but were helping to grow also the employee,” said Kim Rhodes, executive director for FDS.

Rhodes said creating the apprenticeship was a no-brainer.

“We have waiting lists of children waiting to get into our program, but we cannot serve them if we don’t have the staff,” Rhodes said. “We’re trying to break down barriers."

Once someone completes their education, they are committed to two years with FDS.

Flowers said once she’s done with her apprenticeship she wants to continue to grow with the company.

“I’ve put off going to school for several years and then I had the opportunity to join the apprenticeship and when it was presented, I thought it was such a great opportunity for me to go back to school and accomplish my goals and just do something to make my daughter proud,” Flowers said.

More information on the program is available online and by calling 317-803-3803.