Greg Wahl-Stephens, Associated Press
Teacher Dany Chhy, left, leads a drill as preschoolers line up before lunch break at a Head Start Program in Hillsboro, Ore.

The Head Start program made a huge difference when I needed to get ready to learn how to learn. I am now a University of Utah student in my junior year with the intention of becoming a physical therapist. I am Hispanic but was fortunate to be born and raised in Salt Lake City. My parents, however, immigrated to the U.S. and found their way to Utah.

Head Start was the beginning of my academic career. It is where I learned how to speak English and socialize with other children. I will always be grateful for the help that Head Start provided me and my family. My brother and my younger sisters learned and grew right alongside me, and my mother was able to learn English when she volunteered at Head Start. I only remember some vivid images and experiences in Head Start, but it was enough to help me prepare for success in school, including university.

3 comments on this story

If not for Head Start and its quality preschool education, I would not have been as ready as I was for kindergarten. It provided me social and academic skills so that I could progress and learn right along the other students in my elementary and high school classes, who were not living in poverty as I was.

Even now Head Start has affected my life by giving me a chance to progress in my studies at the U. Head Start will always be a part of my life, and I will always be grateful for the help that Head Start gave me.

Christina Fuenzalida

Salt Lake City

Head Start Graduate