From the first time I met with Susan Daniels her smile is contagious. She is absolutely beautiful inside and out. It was obvious to me that she has great passion for everything she does. Susan shows a labor of love for Children’s Learning Center and the community. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Susan Daniels, the face behind Children’s Learning Center.
Missouri Magazine: Faces of Missouri, meet Susan Daniels.
Susan Daniels: My name is Susan Daniels. You may know me as Susan”, but my real name is legally Kim. I have always gone by my legal middle name. I was born in Macomb, Illinois, but have lived at the lake for 40+ years. I am a mother to one incredible daughter, Jada and have one awesome grandson, Jaxon, who was recently born in October 2019.
Missouri Magazine: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Susan Daniels: Something unique about me is my parents met in the Vietnam War. So yes, I am half Vietnamese. I love to travel and warm, beach locations are definitely my favorite! I also strive to stay healthy (as I love to cook) and enjoy an active lifestyle. I frequent the gym, but what they say is true, some days it’s not just about being healthy and building muscle, but the gym is also my stress relief and therapy. I have found balancing family and a career can be tough sometimes, but I believe finding time for yourself and your health is very important, and a great example to others.
Missouri Magazine: What do your friends say about you?
Susan Daniels: My friends would say I am easy going, dedicated, and maintain a positive energy! I love to giggle/laugh, travel, shop and having quality friend and family time! I have realized although life can be tough at times, it is accurate, you are always stronger than you think!
Missouri Magazine: What do you love most about living in Missouri?
Susan Daniels: I love the seasons! Although I am not a big fan of being cold, I love to see the leaves change, the pretty snow and of course, lake fun in the summer!
Missouri Magazine: How long have you worked or lived in Missouri?
Susan Daniels: I have lived in Missouri for 40 years & have worked for Children’s Learning Center since November 2007 (12 years).
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite restaurant?
Susan Daniels: Anything with good SUSHI! I love sushi rolls!
Missouri Magazine: What is something on your bucket list?
Susan Daniels: Continue to travel to new places! There are so many incredible things to see & experience!
Missouri Magazine: What are your family’s favorite activities?
Susan Daniels: I love being able to spend time with my daughter and my new grandson! I love to travel! I love to go to the gym or anything fitness related! I actually just completed my first obstacle race, which was something on my bucket list.
Missouri Magazine: Where can someone find you when you are not at work?
Susan Daniels: The gym or shopping.
Missouri Magazine: What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Susan Daniels: The continued success of the charity I run, Children’s Learning Center. It is so rewarding when a fundraiser event does well or I receive news my grant request was approved. To see the number of young children we help each year (for 2018 we provided services for 152 children, thus far for 2019 we have already provided services for 156) and the difference we are making is truly heart warming!
Missouri Magazine: Do you have a favorite local charity?
Susan Daniels: Well, duh, that is obvious, it would be Children’s Learning Center of course!
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite quote?
Susan Daniels: Don’t go through life, grow through life!
Missouri Magazine: Tell us your role at CLC for Kids and about your career.
Susan Daniels: I started my career at my current place of employment, Children’s Learning Center, in November of 2007. I started employment part time in the office, as I was also a full-time lake area real estate agent at that time. I quickly saw the difference CLC directly made to children with special needs and developmental delays in our community. I also realized how much of an impact our community had in supporting our not for profit agency and wanted to help. I made the decision to change my career path and went back to school to get some additional courses in early childhood. I then became Executive Director in August 2015.
Missouri Magazine: What are your future goals?
Susan Daniels: My future goal is to continue to be an advocate for the importance of our program and provide high quality inclusive programming to children with and without special needs and delays in our community. I also have a huge passion for fundraising and putting together fun events. I have acquired several grants from lake area community organizations, as well as larger grants from other outlying Missouri agencies. I feel blessed to be able to work with children and believe you never stop learning at any age.