“I have two daughters, ages 21 and 28, and both were Head Start students. I was a parent volunteer with my oldest child at United Children and Family Head Start. In her second year, I got hired. I saw I had a niche for it, so I volunteered every day. I learned the ins and outs of the program, how important parents were and how the agency made us feel like we were number one. One particular teacher, who was a pusher, and I guess she saw what was in me. I’ve been here ever since. We advocate for children so much. What better place to be than the place you began and where your children attended? It’s like home. This is my family.
When I first started I had a high school diploma. UCFHS has been really big on educating their teachers. They paid for my CDA, associate and bachelor’s degrees. If I choose to get my master’s, which I want to do, in child psychology. If funding is available, the agency will offer financial support for that purpose. The more I went to school, the more I realized that I loved it and more windows were open. I learned how to better help the children and the Head Start program. They check up on you, see how your grades are and if something’s a problem, they’ve always been there for me.
The most rewarding part of my job is when I get a child in September and I see the progression from September to June. Where, maybe they couldn’t write their name, now they’re writing their first and last name. When they had little knowledge of mathematics, now they’re graphing, sorting and presenting data analysis. I know, all the schooling I had wasn’t in vain. It’s paying off.”