Making History Through Head Start: Carlos Yancy

May 23, 2023

A smiling boy with dark and wavy hair
Two girls posing for a photo at a park

Carlos Yancy is a Business Development Specialist with BayFirst Bank in Newtown, where he and his team have a direct focus on making a difference in our community and in the lives of those we serve.

He is also a proud Children First alumni and third-generation Sarasota resident. From a young age, he was taught the value of education when he began attending the Helen R. Payne Day Nursery, now Children First, where he received the care and services he needed to develop emotionally, socially, cognitively, and physically.

“My great auntie Margaret was a teacher there for many years, where she instilled the love for learning across many generations of our community. When you’re a child, having someone be there for you is critical. I remember how much I loved coming to Children First because it felt like everyone cared so much for my well-being,” says Carlos.

His oldest son, Carlos Junior, also attended Children First. Carlos notes how the journey can be completely different as a parent. “When you walk through those doors, it’s a commitment to show up every single day, not just for your children, but also for yourself.”

Carlos found a passion in football growing up, where he was encouraged and supported by his family every step of the way. He ended up having an opportunity to play at the collegiate level for the University of Georgia, followed by a professional stint with the New England Patriots in the National Football League.

However, he notes that one of the greatest opportunities in his life was to be able to come back where he was raised and give back to “this historic and resilient community that has offered me so much.”

Prior to BayFirst Bank opening its doors, the Newtown community went without a bank for 100 years. Now, Carlos has the privilege of being here each day, assisting those with needs and helping people reach the American dream, which he considers to be homeownership.

“Children First is full of changemakers – people who really care about their children, families, and community,” says Carlos. “When I think of my own journey, from Children First, to the NFL, to raising my own family, and now, serving the incredible members of this community, I never stopped shooting for the stars. Thanks to my parents, my support system, and this agency, I felt like I had the entire galaxy at my fingertips.”

Carlos (bottom row, left) and his team from BayFirst Bank joined in on the fun at Children First’s end of year celebration for the children going to Kindergarten!