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Head Start Alumni Spotlight: Dreya Holmes

“Dreya is my humble overachiever,” her mother, Donna Holmes, said. “Ever since she was young and in Head Start, when she would see a problem, she would find a solution and move right on to the next problem.” Dreya’s greatest stumbling block prior to starting Head Start was speaking. At the age of three she was placed in a Head Start classroom where, with her teacher’s and family’s encouragement, she said her first words out loud.

Once she began to speak there was no stopping Dreya and her newly found outspoken nature.

As an 11-year-old Dreya mobilized a successful campaign to convert an about-to-be-closed community pool into the largest outdoor water “sprayground” in Ohio. She then went on to win the National Lego “Building Communities” Award, as well as Kohl’s Kids Care local, regional, and state competitions, represented Wooster, OH as a finalist in the “All American City” competition, won the Prudential “Spirit of Community” Award for the State of Ohio, and was chosen to attend a national symposium on digital media in New York City.

Today, Dreya is a freshman at Kent State University  where she is studying Digital Media. WIth her degree, Dreya dreams of filming and producing documentaries that bring attention to social injustices. Since she spoke her first words up at Head Start, Dreya has been a voice for her community.


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.