“I went back to school and completed two associate degrees and a bachelor's degree in social work."

“I have four grown children and I started my interest in Head Start as an involved parent. Now, I am the family community partnership specialist in the Thrive by Five, Southwest Solutions Early Head Start program.

Head Start provides advancement opportunities for the entire family. It helps build families and self-esteem. It gives encouragement and support so you can advance to any level.

When I became involved with Detroit Head Start as a parent, I didn’t have a job and Head Start had just started the child development associate degree program. This was free for parents involved in the classroom.

The compassionate staff encouraged me to further my education. So, I went back to school and completed two associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree in social work. I’ve been a special needs assistant, assistant teacher and teacher before becoming a family community partnership specialist. I wanted to give back.

Head Start gave me leadership opportunities as parent. I served on a number of committees — center committee, delegate policy committee and policy council. We set all kinds of goals together and met them.

My children are outspoken and creative. My oldest daughter was kind of shy when she started, and it brought her out so much. Now she does public speaking. She is very creative. She can cook and bake, make jewelry. She is an entrepreneur — in part because of the self-esteem the program gives kids. My children did very, very well in Head Start. It is a Head Start to life!”

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