NHSA Awards Head Start BOLD Leadership Prizes

March 9, 2021

Fourteen Head Start leaders celebrated for extraordinary efforts navigating the challenges of 2020

Washington, DC — Today, the National Head Start Association awarded the Bold Leadership Prizes to fourteen extraordinary leaders in the Head Start community.

“Today, we celebrate our remarkable, strong, dedicated Head Start community,” NHSA executive director Yasmina Vinci said. “Those who led with extraordinary courage to make sure our Head Start families continued to thrive amid a remarkably turbulent year. Head Start is full of brilliant, generous leaders, but our 2020 BOLD Prize winners blew us away with their bold leadership. Congratulations to these inspiring individuals, and thank you for all you do for Head Start children and families each and every day.”

“We also extend our thanks to the Ford Foundation for their support of 2020 BOLD that enabled us to celebrate these Head Start’s leaders in the way they deserve,” Vinci continued.

There are three tiers of 2020 BOLD Prize winners:

The BOLD Leader Award, receiving $10,000:

  • Maggie Evans of Agri-Business Child Development (ABCD), Schenectady, New York

The 2020 BOLD Game-Changers, each receiving $5,000:

  • Willing Chin of Grand Street Settlement, New York, NY
  • Stacy Lewis of Thrive to Five, Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, PA
  • Melissa McPheeters of Franklin Pierce Early Learning Center Head Start, Parkland, WA
  • Nicolee Mensing of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, St. Paul, MN
  • Alina Vega of Vista del Mar of Home SAFE, Los Angeles, CA
  • Anat Weisenfreund of Community Action Pioneer Valley, Head Start & Early Learning Programs, Northampton, MA

The 2020 BOLD Thinkers, each receiving $1,000:

  • Kristina Bedikian of Acelero Learning/Head Start Clark County, Las Vegas, NV
  • Elizabeth DeCamilla of Pasco County Head Start/Early Head Start, Land O’Lakes, FL
  • Deb Hendricks of Marion Community Schools Head Start, Marion, IN
  • Laure Hopper of South Central Human Resource Agency Head Start and Early Head Start, Fayetteville, TN
  • Macy Jones of Alexander County Head Start, Taylorsville, NC
  • Maria McNair of Lutheran Services Florida – Duval Head Start and Early Head Start, Jacksonville, FL
  • Jessica Moore of Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Highland Park, MI


The 2020 BOLD Leadership Prizes recognizes Head Start leaders–administrators, teachers, and staff–who exhibited extraordinarily bold leadership in a tumultuous, challenging year.The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Visit and follow @NatlHeadStart for more information.

# # #