Getting to Know: Heidi Allen



Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Heidi Allen
Heidi Allen

Heidi Allen has taught at Cerro Coso Community College for nearly 25 years and has been proud to see her students do great things, like write their names and share with others.

That's because Allen is a teacher at CCCC's Child Development Center, which provides child care to the community of Ridgecrest for children 18 months to 5 years old, with priority given to Cerro Coso college students. It also helps explain why one of her favorite parts of the job is sitting on the ground and playing with students.

“The job is really rewarding,” said Allen, who has worked at the center since 1998. “You get to see the children grow and develop. It's really neat when you see the moment they grasp that concept you're trying to teach them.”

Another fun part: “I see kids all over town that I had in my classes.” She has even worked with several of her former students who were studying child development at CCCC and gained work experience at the center.

The center practices continuity of care so teachers stay with their group of kids as they age and a bond forms not just between teacher and child, but with the child's family as well. Allen currently teaches a class of 3-4 year-olds. Next year will be their last at the center before heading off to kindergarten, and Allen will then start with a new class of toddlers.

Allen is a graduate of Burroughs High School and studied Child Development at CCCC. While working at John's Pizza in high school she met her future husband Scott Allen and the two hit it off. They soon began arranging their work schedules to finish shifts at the same time and the restaurant is still one of Heidi's favorites in Ridgecrest because of those memories.

When not working to help young children blossom, Heidi spends her time making and selling greeting cards using a technique called Iris paper folding. The result are intricately designed cards made using layers of colorful paper. She learned the technique 7 years ago when she took a class in Tehachapi and now has a small side hustle selling the cards to friends and at craft shows. For Allen, the craft provides a counterbalance to her busy days in the boisterous and energetic atmosphere of the child development center.

“I turn on some music or turn on a podcast while I'm doing it,” she said. “It's what I do to relax.”

Cards created by Heidi Allen

Cards created by Heidi Allen