Ed Williams is a Head Start alum and the current State Director and Senior Counsel to Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania. "I’m a proud graduate of the Head Start program in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania," Ed said. "My brother and I attended Head Start in Wilkes-Barre in the early 1980s."
"I grew up in a house with loving and supportive parents as well as an extended family that cared deeply about my brother and me. But we experienced a significant degree of economic stress and uncertainty in our household that permeated our lives on a daily basis." As a three year old, Ed was also a shy and introverted boy who lacked confidence. Thanks to Head Start he gained the skills he needed to excel and grow.
"There is no question in my mind that Head Start helped prepare me for my academic pursuits in countless ways. But the value of Head Start goes beyond academics. The comprehensive approach of the Head Start program was essential to my development. It really empowered me to get beyond my shyness and instilled in me a sense of confidence that helped me come out of my shell.”
“I learned so many basic life skills during my time in the Head Start program that have served me to this day and created in me a sense of intellectual curiosity that remains strong today,” Ed said. “That combination of academic training and social skills development undoubtedly put me on a path to college."
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 sign up at go.nhsa.org/alumni!