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2020 BOLD 

Leadership Prizes

Blue on yellow-01

Recognizing, celebrating, and rewarding Head Start bold leadership

Recognizing 14 Head Start leaders who courageously took risks and found bold, game-changing solutions to 2020's challenges.

2020 BOLD Leader: One prize winner of $10,000

Maggie Evans, Schenectady, NY
Agri-Business Child Development (ABCD)

A collaborative, empathetic approach to leadership and a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to understand and address the unique needs of ABCD’s migrant and seasonal farmworker families make Maggie Evans the 2020 BOLD Leader winner.

Since 1999, Maggie Evans has been the chief executive officer of Agri-Business Child Development (ABCD), a Head Start grantee operating 12 migrant and seasonal programs across the state of New York, as well as a regular Head Start program in Seneca County and an Early Head Start program in Orange County. Maggie has led ABCD boldly during the COVID-19 pandemic, thoughtfully collaborating with program staff and families and prioritizing families’ well-being at every turn. In March 2020, ABCD transitioned to remote services to protect the health of staff and families, but immediately set up systems to deliver food to families and educate children at home. Given the nature of ABCD families’ work in agriculture, Maggie understood that parents would still need to work in person, and made reopening for in-person services a high priority. For the past year, ABCD’s focus has been on the physical isolation of families and staff, their basic needs such as food and sustenance, their mental health, as well as financial literacy needs, and technological awareness.

During this time, Maggie did not lose sight of other critical priorities, including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). ABCD established a DEI Committee made up of three center-level staff and three staff from the leadership team, to address issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in ABCD.

"My strength during this time was my unwavering support and advocacy on behalf of staff and families. What I would share with Head Start programs: I have learned that with discomfort and adversity comes opportunity and that there is an innate need in most, to fight together and unite in moments of uncertainty. I have learned that promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion works best because people take ownership of the process and find their true value within the organization. I have learned to listen to my years of experience as I balance my decisions with new ideas in sometimes uncharted territories. I have learned that trusting your team and engaging the vision of others, opens many doors. I have learned to recognize when to be cautious and when to be audacious. I have learned that ABCD is truly blessed to have an array of community partners ready to support us."

2020 BOLD Game Changers: Six prize winners of $5,000 each

Willing Chin-Ma, New York City, NY
Grand St Settlement

Stacy Lewis, Landcaster, PA
Thrive to Five, Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County

Melissa McPheeters, Parkland, WA
Franklin Pierce Early Learning Center Head Start

Nicolee Mensing, St. Paul, MN
Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties

Alina Vega, Los Angeles, CA
Vista del Mar/ Home SAFE

Anat Weisenfreund, Northampton, MA
Community Action Pioneer Valley, Head Start & Early Learning Programs

2020 BOLD Thinkers: Seven prize winners of $1,000 each

Kristina Bedikian, Las Vegas, NV
Acelero Learning Early/Head Start Clark County

Dr. Elizabeth DeCamilla, Land O Lakes, FL
Pasco County Head Start/Early Head Start

Deb Hendricks, Marion, IN
Marion Community Schools Head Start

Laure Hopper, Fayettville, TN
South Central Human Resource Agency HS/EHS

Macy Jones, Taylorsville, NC
Alexander County Head Start

Maria McNair, Jacksonville, FL
Lutheran Services Florida - Duval HS/EHS Program

Jessica Moore, Highland Park, MI
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency