Story submitted by: Valery
Head Start Alumni, Parent, and Staff

Our Head Start story began in 1995. My mother and father were working hard to lay a strong foundation for our little family. They were immigrants with two young daughters to raise in an unfamiliar country. When I was four, they enrolled me in a Head Start program.

At that time, my mother was working the graveyard shift at a local Target. This freed her days to volunteer in the classroom and attend the parent workshops. To this day, she speaks highly of the “Parent University” workshop series. She shared that this course is what helped her develop her confidence and parenting skills.

The Home Liaison, seeing my mother’s gift of working with the children and drive to better herself, shared that there was an upcoming opportunity for Head Start parents in the form of a scholarship and encouraged my mother to apply. This scholarship would grant the participants their first 12 units of Child Development through a collaboration with Santa Monica College. My mother jumped at this opportunity and began taking classes once a week with this cohort. That began my mother’s educational journey which eventually led her to pursue a higher education.


While raising two daughters, working full-time, and taking courses part-time, she managed to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree and became a Teacher’s Aide in 1997 and then a Head Start Teacher in 2001 in Baldwin Park.

Following in my mother’s footsteps, I completed my child development units at Citrus College and became a Child Care Provider at Baldwin Park Head Start in 2011. I now have the honor of being the Secretary II in the same Early Childhood Education Program where I began my career and where my mother continues to be a Teacher, now with Early Head Start Home Base. She works closely with parents and families, giving back to the Head Start community by sharing her story and encouraging them to take advantage of the wealth of resources available to Head Start families.

Our Head Start Story continues with my son, Noel, who was accepted in 2023 into the Early Head Start Center-Base program. Because we know the great benefits of early educational experiences that come with this program, my husband and I were thrilled. Our son is flourishing in his development thanks to the passion and knowledge of his teachers.
As Early Head Start parents, we actively look for ways to support the program through parent participation and volunteering. My husband is proudly the classroom Policy Council Representative.

We owe so much to the Head Start program. Since 1995, when it truly changed the course of my family’s story and continues to shape our future.

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