Kenny’s
Story

A boy playing with toys
A baby in an orange shirt crawling

Video Transcript

Kenny Hughes:

Hello, my name is Kenny Hughes. My son Matthew recently graduated from Children First’s Head Start Program. Today he is six years old and thriving in kindergarten. While my son was at Children First, the staff are so supportive of his progress and they also provided a lot of support to me as a parent. Our family advocate, Yesenia, is one of the most caring people I’ve come to know. One day she approached me with an idea that I should run for policy council, and the next year I was elected as policy council board liaison.

Kathleen Sullivan:

When Head Start began in 1965, its founders understood that parents are an essential part of young children’s educational success. That’s why Head Start created the policy council as a formal leadership role for parents. At Children First, the policy council has many key responsibilities, such as developing our annual funding application, creating an annual program assessment, and approving the hire of all Head Start staff.
I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Kenny for the past three years. He’s a great example of the importance of parental involvement.

Kenny Hughes:

Serving on the policy council taught me how important it is to not only be an advocate for my own child, but for all children who need a voice. When Matthew started at Children First, the staff realized he needed early intervention speech therapy. Thankfully, he was able to get that immediately right here on campus.

Kathleen Sullivan:

All of our inclusion services, like speech therapy, are offered on-site and at no cost to our families, which is a huge benefit for them. This kind of early intervention helps children reach their fullest potential. We also know parents are the ultimate key to a child’s progress. Kenny took an active role working with Matthew at home on his speech to ensure the best results.

Kenny Hughes:

Today, I’m very proud to share that when Matthew started kindergarten this past fall, he no longer needed therapy because of the incredible progress he had made. Matthew is bubbly, bright, energetic, silly, and he just loves everybody. It means the world to me to know that my son started kindergarten on equal footing because of Children First and their services. It’s so much more than a daycare. Children First has an amazing team that gives love, kindness, and compassion at every step of the way.

My number one goal is to be the best dad I can be. That’s why I’m working hard to help him have the most positive experience he can. But Children First has such a positive impact on my entire family, I knew I wanted to stay involved.

In January of this year, I was officially elected to the Children First board of directors. It makes me feel so proud to continue advocating for children and families in need. Thank you all for believing in Matthew, believing in me, and believing in families like ours. Children are our future and they need us now more than ever. Together we can continue transforming the lives of our community’s most vulnerable and help them discover their full potential.