During Summer 2021, it was clear Jennifer Niggemeier’s caring, energetic and organized personality would be the perfect fit for the Waukesha program manager position. Jennifer started with Wisconsin Youth Company as the 4K program coordinator in 2018. Jennifer now oversees all before school, 4k wrap and after school programs, where she brings all characteristics those into her daily work.
Q1: When did you start working with Wisconsin Youth Company and what has been your favorite memory so far?
I have been with Wisconsin Youth Company for three years. My favorite memory has been our virtual trivia event. The event stood out as my favorite because staff from Dane and Waukesha worked together to answer questions and get to know each other. We all laughed and shared stories about ourselves and families. That made me feel connected and grateful.
Q2: What is the most important thing you learned as a child that still applies today?
The most important thing I learned as a child which applies today is “Everyone learns differently.” Children need opportunities to discover and create with different forms of tangible media. This helped me to take risks in my education journey because I was able to explore different functions of a simple object such as a milk cap. Milk caps can be used for STEM building, letter matching games, counting, or creating patterns colors.
Q3: Who was a mentor you looked up to when you were younger? Why did you look up to them?
My mother is the person who I have always looked up to as a mentor. She was an early advocate in my education because she pushed for resources to help make me successful inside and outside of the classroom. My mother is still a sounding board to bounce ideas off of.
Q4: What is your favorite part about working with kids?
My favorite part of working with children is being their support system. Children need to feel that their voices and words are been heard. Growing up, I did not have that support system with my teachers. This caused me to feel disconnected and separate from my peers. These uneasy feelings lead me to the education field because I don’t’ want any child to feel separate from their peers and unsupported. Helping empower children of all ages, to build their confidence through words and actions, have been my highlight in my career path.
Say “hi” to Jennifer next time you see her!