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Head Start Alumni Spotlight: Class of 1965

Founded by Sargent Shriver in 1965, Head Start has come a long way since its inception as an 8-week-long summer program. For half a century, Head Start has represented America’s commitment to giving vulnerable children and their families the opportunity to succeed in school and in life. In the past 50 years, over 31 million young lives have been transformed by Head Start’s comprehensive approach to early learning – getting at-risk children ready for kindergarten and setting families on a path toward self-sufficiency.  

The tradition continues today. In 2013-2014, more than 1 million children and pregnant women benefitted from Head Start and Early Head Start’s holistic approach to early learning and wellness.

From teacher to lawyer to politician, these alumni from the summer of ‘65 are living proof that this program works! Today we honor you and thank you for sharing your story. What a wonderful way to celebrate National Head Start Awareness Month and the past 50 years! Now let’s work for 50 more!

The Class of 1965, clockwise from left:

Yolanda French Lollis
Lawyer
Attended Head Start in Lousiville, KY

Alejandrina Flores Burrell
Marriage & Family Therapist
Attended Head Start in Imperial Beach, CA

Deanna Hess
ChildPlus Administrator / Information Support Specialist
Attended Head Start in San Bernardino, CA

Rosanna Engle-Wolfe
Works in Head Start
Attended Head Start in Somerville, NJ

Bev Wolfingier
Child Care Provider
Attended Head Start in Smithers, WV

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation
Attended Head Start in Louisiana

Peggy Davis
Teacher
Attended Green County Head Start

Kelly Cederholm
Head Start Teacher
Attended Head Start in New Hampshire

Dr. David Schauer
Retired Navy Commander
Attended Head Start in Elmer, NJ

In honor of Head Start’s 50th Anniversary and Head Start Awareness Month, the National Head Start Association will be highlighting Head Start alumni each weekday in October. We will begin the month with Head Start’s youngest learners and conclude the celebration with the Head Start Class of 1965. As the month progresses, these alumni stories will exemplify the short-term and long-term benefits Head Start has provided for our nation’s most vulnerable children and families for the past 50 years.  

Are you or anyone you know a Head Start alum? Share this story and join our Alumni Network!