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Alumna Ana Berdecia Continues to Earn Recognition for Contributions to Early Childhood Education

12/17/15


West Windsor, N.J. – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) alumna Ana Berdecia '88 ( A.A., Humanities and Social Sciences) continues to be recognized for her good works as a senior fellow with The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy and director of the Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children at Thomas Edison State College (TESC).

Berdecia, who was selected for MCCC’s Alumni Leader Award in 2008, was recently honored by Children's Futures with its 2016 Guiding Light Award. The organization recognized Berdecia for her “commitment to helping children, early in life, develop a foundation of academic excellence and achievement.”

Children's Futures has been working to improve health and development outcomes for children in Mercer County since 2001. Through parental education, nurse home visits, case management and a host of other family support services, Children's Futures aims to prevent many of the issues that otherwise compromise the health and well-being of central New Jersey's most vulnerable residents.

In accepting the award, Berdecia said, "The early years are critical and incredible years of growth for young children. It's a joy to do my part to assist early childhood professionals to understand their important role as facilitators of learning that help children reach their potential.

Ana Bercedia '88 (A.A., Humanities and Social Sciences)

Berdecia, who has worked at TESC for 12 years, is dedicated to bridging the voices of teachers, practitioners, parent/guardians and the larger community to policy initiatives in New Jersey that impact the health, well-being and educational outcomes of children and families. She designed the first NJ Cultural Competency and English Language Learners Summer Institute and Mentoring Program, and works to engage municipal and business leaders to increase support and understanding about the importance of early childhood investments.

After earning her degree at MCCC, Berdecia earned both her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies and Master of Education with a specialization in Early Childhood from The College of New Jersey. She also holds a New Jersey Standard Teaching Certificate in preschool through 3rd grade. Berdecia completed a post-graduate certificate in Infant Mental Health from the YCS Infant and Preschool Mental Health Institute and Seton Hall University, and became a certified coach and trainer through the John C. Maxwell Certification Program in 2013.

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