Youth Education

        Linas story silhoutte reduced 
 “Head Start is an amazing program!” expresses Lina, summarizing her daughter Brianna’s three year experience in the Nebraska City Full-Day Head Start Program.

“I feel the most important part of the program is helping children become ready for kindergarten,” says Lina. “It is hard on children who don’t have that advantage when they start school.”
 
Lina first learned about the SENCA Head Start program from a caseworker with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. At the time Lina was living with her parents while she took college classes, worked, and took care of her preschool age daughter, Brianna. Lina enrolled Brianna into the Nebraska City Full-Day program in 2015.
 
As one of 151 children participating in SENCA Head Start, Brianna spent her days learning and strengthening school readiness skills in the areas of: social/emotional; language; literacy; math; cognitive and physical. Lina’s days were spent working hard to achieve specific goals which included purchasing a home for her and Brianna and earning a degree in Criminal Justice. Lina maintained a hectic schedule between work, school, and being a mom. However, when time allowed, she enjoyed attending Head Start Parent Meetings and the interaction she had with school staff and other parents.
 
In 2016, Brianna’s 2nd year in Head Start, Lina accepted a full-time position with the State of Nebraska.  The increase in income, plus the money Lina saved with Brianna participating in the SENCA Head Start Full-Day Program in lieu of having to pay for childcare, was life changing.  Lina was able to eliminate the need for government assistance as well as save money toward the purchase of her and Brianna’s first home.      
 
In August 2018 Brianna started kindergarten, and thanks to SENCA Head Start, she entered school ready to be successful. Meanwhile, Lina maintained a full-time job and remained focused on earning her degree. By December Lina was studying to take her final college exam that will earn her a bachelors in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. “My degree will enable me to be more competitive for higher paying jobs,” shares Lina. “But the best part is that I will have more free time to spend with my daughter now that I will be finished with school.” 
 
Lina utilized her self-motivation, continued focus, and personal determination to reach her goals. In addition, SENCA Head Start provided Lina with much needed parental support as well as confidence in knowing Brianna was receiving comprehensive child development services and vital school readiness skills. When asked if she would recommend the Head Start Program to other qualifying parents, Lina replied “Yes, absolutely!”