“Money was often tight growing up but my mother and extended family did all they could to make sure my brothers and I were provided with the opportunities and resources to help us thrive. Thankfully a government-funded program called Head Start afforded me crucial access to early childhood education while my mother attended school...."
I first became acquainted with Head Start about 28 years ago. My son was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with severe autism. As a young parent without much family support, I struggled to make ends meet as I grappled with how to deal with what was then a condition we knew very little about. I was devastated, overwhelmed, and felt as though I had nowhere to turn— until a local Community Action office told me about the local Head Start program.
I want to salute Head Start teachers across the country who are opening windows of opportunity for our nation’s most vulnerable children and families. As a Head Start graduate and lifelong educator, I can speak firsthand to the incredible difference these teachers are making in their communities
This Mother’s Day, as I reflect on my journey as a parent, I cannot imagine being where I am today without the truly life changing support of Head Start. In fact, as I celebrate six wonderful years of being a mother, Head Start honors a milestone of its own: this week marks the 50th Anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s creation of a federally funded preschool program that would serve the nation’s poorest children.