Student Spotlight: Tara Cachur Molnar
Tara Cachur Molnar
While she was a good student, receiving solid grades in high school, Tara Cachur Molnar said she didn't truly thrive in an educational environment until enrolling at College of DuPage.
She credits COD and its faculty with giving her the confidence to pursue higher education and providing the encouragement she had been craving.
“I didn't enjoy high school. My grades were good and I had enough credits to graduate early, but I was just so lost and didn't know what to do,” she said. “I didn't have the money to go to a university, so I decided to enroll at COD. The minute I entered, I realized I could set my own pace. COD was a chance to find me.”
The decision paid off quickly as Molnar tackled her greatest fear – math – and met a number of faculty and instructors with infectious enthusiasm for the subjects they taught.
“The teachers made everything wonderful,” she said. “One instructor even identified me as dyslexic. It was something I wasn’t even aware of and it changed my life.”
Molnar said College of DuPage afforded her the opportunity to try many different subject areas, narrowing the field as she determined her career path. After earning her associate’s degree, she transferred to Northern Illinois University to study business administration and earned her bachelor's degree.
She worked as an election specialist with the Illinois State Board of Elections, performing audits and interpreting the laws of campaign finance for candidates. However, Molnar made the difficult choice to leave her job and become self-employed, opening a daycare business. This also allows her to take care of her two children.
Molnar enjoys full enrollment at her business, with several children who have been with her from the start now “graduating” to kindergarten. Although she reduced her numbers for summer to enjoy time with her own children, she will be back up to full enrollment for fall.
“Having my business degree was essential to my successful grand opening,” she said. “I love working with children and watching them grow and learn. Owning a business has been extremely rewarding. I believe it has made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses and I’m able to take risks with my career.
“I continue to educate myself by attending seminars and classes focused on early childhood development and education. I use social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to stay informed on current topics in early childhood education. The children really enjoy when we do new activities together. I continue to use resources, such as local colleges and associations, to provide the best service to the children in my care.”
She also works part-time with Auction and Event Solutions, a company that facilitates fundraising for nonprofit organizations.
“I don't think I would have achieved what I did without College of DuPage,” she said. “I know others who went to different community colleges and I don't think they got the same excellent experience I did.”
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