It is my pleasure to speak about the experiences I have had with Southern Oregon Head Start (SOHS). Over the last four years my children have been involved at SOHS, involvement has included classes and educational resources for my children, as well as ample opportunities for myself, not only to be involved in the educational development of my children, but also furthering myself through self-improvement and community involvement. During my time with SOHS I was humbled to be the recipient of a scholarship through Early Head Start for the sum of $2,000. Not only did this scholarship help me pay for my classes, it was granted at a time that enabled me to graduate with my Bachelors of Biomedical Sciences on time. Currently I am a graduate student at John’s Hopkins University studying Biotechnology. I have also been accepted to medical school at St. George’s University and will begin my journey to becoming a physician in the West Indies, Grenada, August 2016.
The services and resources provided by SOHS not only have helped me to fulfil my dream of practicing medicine, they have also been cornerstone to my children’s success in public school. My daughter, who is currently in first grade, is a top reader in her class. She is one of five students involved in a reading group that is assigned more difficult readings, in addition to group reading sessions that entail readings from books more advanced that the rest of the class. I directly correlate her success with reading to the support she received at SOHS, as well as the encouragement that I received as well. My son, who was attending speech therapy, quickly graduated the speech program after his first year of Early Head Start. Again, I attribute his rapid success to the support of his teachers and class staff, as well as the frequent and useful communication I received from them during this time.
During my time at SOHS I was also involved in the SOHS Policy Council as well as parent meetings, and have spent many hours volunteering for class activities and the like. The allowance of being directly involved with my child’s education, has enabled me to have an “inside” view to my child’s strengths and weaknesses, in terms of attending public school next year.
The benefits provided to the community, including my family, on behalf of SOHS have had a profound effect on not only child development, encouragement and love, but have also retained the same encouragement through adulthood. It is my hope that the SOHS program will grow, and continue to have the impact on the lives of others the way it did for my family and I.
My Sincerest Thanks,
2014 Richard C Alexander Scholarship Recipient