Advocacy Action Center


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Advocacy Action Center

Head Start programs impact both the child and parent—as Julian Wilson and his mom, Tammy, demonstrate from their experience in Alaska that is now rippling out to a Region 9 Head Start Association program in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The story goes this way:  Tammy, was a young mother who joined the military at the age of 18 and had her first child at 19.

“As a young mom, I was clueless,” she said. “I didn’t have a good home life, so really didn’t know much about raising children. I reached out to other moms who told me about services for low-income families and that networking led me to Head Start.”

She enrolled Julian and his older sister in Head Start preschool and the entire family benefited. Tammy attributes much of what she learned about parenting to the Head Start program that modeled positive ways for her to interact and help educate her young children.

“I didn’t realize the importance of early childhood education and Head Start helped me learn how to care for my children,” Tammy said. “I was lonely, and Head Start helped me connect to other parents who could be role models for me.”

For Julian, Head Start gave him the right start in his education. He was a successful student in high school, where he served as captain of the tennis team and a member of the varsity swim team. He received a full academic scholarship to Arizona State University as a full-time student and worked at the Veterans Affairs office on campus helping veterans like his mom achieve academic success.

Of his Head Start experience, Julian said, “It was fun, I learned a lot, and I know it really helped my mom.”

And now the full circle part: For Julian’s Senior Project, he organized a book drive for Head Start children in Chandler, Arizona—an easy decision to “give back” he said, “because I know, from our family’s experience, how valuable early education and the Head Start advantage is.”

Another advocacy story here…

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