Hello, My name is Alicia and I am the new Play Leader and Marketing Assistant at bOunceT! From an early age, I have been passionate about working with children and young people especially those with unique differences and gifts.

In Primary School, I always found schoolwork challenging compared to my peers. I found that swimming helped me gain confidence in my own abilities outside the classroom and kept me focused, etc. I was a competitive swimmer from six to fourteen years old. Unfortunately, I stopped competing to keep up with school work but I do enjoy swimming and teaching others whenever I can.

In 2012, I moved from Dubai to Florida and attended the local high school in the area. I enrolled in a program within the school for students keen to get involved in Early Childhood Development and Special Education. This program was a great opportunity for me to work within the field with children from different backgrounds and varying abilities in a variety of different core subjects. I also volunteered in my high school’s additional needs department, supporting my fellow peers on the spectrum as well as those with other developmental and physical disabilities. I also volunteered in different school settings from nursery to primary age and really enjoy learning about each individual and their needs.

During that time, I learned a lot about how to become the best teacher I could be! I was given an award during my second year in the program which strengthened my passion to help others even more as I knew what I was doing within the community was making a difference. I graduated high school in 2016, with an Early Childhood Development diploma, qualifying me as a teacher for children from birth to five years old.

Up to this point, I had spent several years learning how to become a well rounded educator, yet I felt as though something was missing. I had many unanswered questions floating around in my mind.

Did I really want to be a teacher? Was this career meant for me? Could I learn more, or do more in order to help others?

When I first got accepted into Lynn University in Florida, I thought I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Shortly after starting my freshman year, however, I realized that I was drawn to the ideas and theories that my psychology professors introduced me to. I would always question why things were done a certain way and would consider potential outcomes outside of the norm. It was then that I decided to change my major from Education to Psychology. I graduated with Honours in 2019, after a 3-year fast track program, with a Bachelor’s Degree in
Psychology, minoring in Elementary Education. Never in a million years did I think that I would actually enjoy learning as much as I do!

I then worked in the United States for a year as a Teacher’s Assistant in a private preschool, in the two-year-old classroom. When I returned to Scotland last year, I became an Early Years Practioner, working with three to five-year-olds during the week and on Saturday’s as a Play Assistant at bOunceT. I have loved getting to know the families, each of them have spoken highly of their experiences and support they have received at bOunceT over the years of
attending.

Since being back in Scotland during lockdown, I have enjoyed watching all kinds of sports from Football to Formula 1 as well as keeping up with my not so little Labrador pup called Magnus. In the immediate future, I plan on obtaining a Master Degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health as well as completing a course to gain my Play Therapy certification. I look forward to eventually putting these new skills to good use at bOunceT. My new role will give
me the opportunity to combine my experience and skills, spanning teaching and child psychology, in a therapy-based environment!

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