Bright Horizons’ Instructional Coach Gregg Millien — the son of Haitian immigrants — says his success stems from his parents’ strong work ethic and sacrifices. We sat down with him to hear about his 13-year progression in child care.
Bright Horizons: What are some of your earliest memories of your own education?
Gregg Millien: I remember being a child in a kindergarten class with a new teacher. I made a mess during an art project, and the teacher yelled at me and told me I couldn’t go outside because of the mess. I still remember the feeling of being inside cleaning up when all the other kids were able to go outside and have fun. It’s an experience that stuck.
BH: What did you learn from that experience?
GM: When I started working here, I knew I would never, ever make a child feel the way that I’d felt in that moment. Since I started here 13 years ago, early education has become my calling, and an opportunity. As the instructional coach, I am in and out of the classrooms, and I make sure to give high fives and positive affirmations and energy to the kids each day.
BH: You said early education is an opportunity — can you elaborate on that?
GM: Coming into this field as a Black, male educator, I have the opportunity to show young children representation that I never saw. Working with educators and families, I can help create change. And I know how important it is — not only for Black children, but for ALL children. I understand that there is a weight to what I do here. Working with these little humans, I have a responsibility to help support how they see people in the world around them.
BH: As we honor Black history this month, can you describe what this celebration means to you?
GM: It’s great to see our history as Black people being brought into the limelight and recognized. It’s an opportunity as an educator to really support the learning of the children here. When they come to Bright Horizons, it’s their first foray into education and understanding different types of people and different types of culture. I take that responsibility very seriously.