Director of Early Education
Michelle Blackmon, our Director of Early Childcare Education, was born and raised in Nottingham, England, where she grew up in a Caribbean household with both of her parents being from the West Indies. During her early teen years her parents made the decision to move to the United States for better job opportunities. She moved to Florida and settled in Broward County. Living in the United States provided her with opportunities to grow and develop, both in her personal and professional life.
As a child growing up in the UK, Blackmon said she was fortunate to attend a well–regarded private catholic school from kindergarten through high school. The school professed a strong educational and ethical philosophy that has remained with her throughout her life. It is the foundation, along with the continued support of her family, educators, and friends that has allowed her to embrace her dream of teaching children.
In 1996 she enlisted into the United States Army, stationed in Ft. Jackson South Carolina. She was taught business leadership, the value of working with diverse teams, and trained on how to execute decisively while being engaged in administrational operations. Her duties as an Administrative Specialist taught her valuable skills in supervision management. After an honorable discharge, Blackmon returned back to civilian life.
Blackmon is a proud mother of three beautiful girls – and all three of them keep her on her toes.
“When I was blessed with my first daughter, I wanted to spend a lot of time with her,” Blackmon said. “So, I started working in an early childhood center in Miami. Since then, I have moved to several different states, and I have experienced several different early childhood centers, each one has had its own unique flair. For the past 20 years I have taught a variety of diverse students from infants through preschool age. Over the years this has been a rewarding career, I have learned so many things about children and their cultures; it is deeply fulfilling to watch each one of the students grow more proficient, and confident, within their inner little selves.”
Another of Blackmon’s passions is cooking new recipes, family time and keeping a healthy body.
“The Y is a great place to evolve all of my habits,” Blackmon added.
Blackmon’s certifications and early learning credentials include CPR & First Aid and AED certified, as well as Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC), Department of Children and Families (DCF) Training, Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) certified and a Directors Credential.
“Working here at the Naples YMCA it has truly been a wonderful experience; I’ve gained more family & friends, and the learned value of determination,” Blackmon said.
Blackmon is also a past winner of Collier County’s Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year award.
Director of Early Education