Children First – Fairytale Ball 2018: If You Had 3 Wishes…

A girl swinging on a swing at the playground and giving the peace sign
Boy with education toys

Video Transcript

Katressa:

So if you have asked me, 18 years ago, if I believed in fairytales, I would’ve said, “No way.” I was 16 years old, living a great life, cheerleading, doing everything that most teenagers want to do, and have fun. But some of the choices that I made led me to become a teen parent. I had three wishes as a teenager, and the first one was to complete school. The second was to obtain a great job with benefits, and the third one was just to show my kids love, that I wanted as a job.

Well, Children First was very beneficial to me and my family. I had three girls that came into the program. My oldest was four, so she only was able to have the ability to embrace Head Start, whereas my younger two, they were able to actually come in as a baby and go through the Early Head Start program as well as the Head Start program. Both programs have been very beneficial to my kids, because it made sure that their dental was done in a timely fashion, their shots records, making sure that they just had the basic necessities. If it got to a hard point, I was comfortable to go talk to my family advocate, who was able to provide me the resources that I need to assist me, and the self stability that I need to do it on my own. The confidence, support.

My daughters, currently now, one’s 17, but the younger two, they’re at SSAS and they’re doing good. I have one in band, one’s doing Platinum Superstars, they’re both involved in church. So over the last 14 years, there have been major changes that I’ve seen, and I don’t know if I would’ve had it if Children First wasn’t around.

Back in October of ’04, I press hard and I became the full-time receptionist. Eventually, it led to me becoming the administrative assistant to the AP administrator, and in 2017 I became the Children First Operations Coordinator. So in let’s say, what, eight months, I’ve got a new position. I’ve purchased my first home. Even though I am the operations’ coordinator, my joy comes from the classroom at the same time. So if I’m never at my desk, I’m in the classroom holding my babies, just showing them love, and just holding onto the memories. I love babies.

Speaker 2:

If you had one more wish, what would it be?

Katressa:

It would be for the little children at Children First, all of 13 sites, to at least have the same opportunity that my kids had. Being able to have parents that strive for more and that have the resources available for them. And coming to Children First would be the foundation that you need to get that drive for success and motivation for a lifetime.