Christa Niven began her career at the Institute of Child Development, where she conducted research in infancy, and risk and resiliency in early childhood. After receiving a B.S. with honors in Child Psychology, Christa went on to direct a program supporting homeless teen parents and their children living in shelters in the Minneapolis area. At the same time, she pursued her Master’s in Education. After college, Christa founded a school serving chemically dependent youth and their children. She did that work for ten years while also serving as a therapeutic foster parent to 33 youth and children.
In 2005, Christa founded her first preschool. The model focused on Reggio-Emilia, Conscious Discipline, natural play, assessment and observation, and natural foods. These schools were consistently voted the best in the area by local newspapers and magazines, and Christa was nominated Director of the Year in 2012.
Christa and her family followed her husband to his dream job in 2013, as the facilities director and exhibits designer at Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, Washington. While in Washington, Christa founded and later sold A Child’s Journey School in Kirkland, WA. She immediately reinvested in a larger campus 10 miles north called Journey School of Lynnwood. Journey School of Lynnwood is a magical place that was later sold in 2017 to one of the very first mommas to enroll. Consistently recognized as an exceptional school, Journey School of Washington is currently working towards NAEYC accreditation.
In 2016, Christa relocated to the Austin area and began Journey School of Boerne and Journey School of Dripping Springs. The Dripping Springs campus was voted best school of 2017, and the Boerne campus was recognized as a nominee for Business of the Year in 2018.
This evening, I asked Mia what it felt like to be nominated for the Journeyer Award (what an honor!!!). Her answer portrayed that she had likely reflected on this all afternoon. So cool! Mia shared that it’s incredible to be understood so well by teachers, classmates and everyone at school even when she’s so far away. She mentioned how talented everyone is at caring for one another. And that there were a lot of characteristics for all of the awards and during the ceremonies she kept thinking how all of these are really important. Honestly, ALL of this literally brings me to joyful tears!
First and foremost, thank you for the love you have & show Mia on a daily basis. Also, for the love & thoughtfulness you’ve given our entire family. You all have been our saving grace throughout the pandemic…I truly mean this. And the adventure has been a marvelous & sharp contrast to some very challenging times. We will forever be grateful. ❤️ -Trina Ulrich
Journey Schools are located throughout the world, including Cameroon, Costa Rica, and the United States, with new locations coming soon.