Like many first-time parents, Brenda Garcia taught her 3-year-old daughter “the ABCs and how to count,” but she wanted her daughter to have a more enriched learning environment. So she brought her to Head Start.

Ever since Garcia’s daughter enrolled at MAOF’s Young Innovators site in August 2016, she has flourished, becoming ever more friendly and imaginative.  Garcia explains, “Her cognitive development is more advanced and she enjoys getting her classmates more engaged in their daily lessons.”  She also spells better, grasps math concepts, and has become more aware of science.

Garcia notes that the rest of her family is also benefitting from the program because they can do the homework lesson plans together.  This allows for more conversations and activities involving the whole family: father, mother, and even her 2-year-old son.  “Her schoolwork has now become a part of our daily life and conversation,” Garcia said.

Since joining Head Start, Garcia has attended workshops at her daughter’s school and volunteered as well.  She also credits her Policy Council involvement with exposing her to “a lot of different trainings from different organizations.”  As chairperson, Garcia has gained the opportunity to share the knowledge she learns in these workshops and trainings with families at her agency, as well as her own friends and family.

Reinforced by her positive experiences as a Head Start parent, Garcia has realized her true passion in life is to work with children.  Although she is currently working as a dental care provider, she is now looking to pursue her dream of working in early childhood education.  It is her hope that she will one day be able to make the same impact in other families’ lives that her daughter’s Head Start teachers have made in hers.