Stefany Robinson-Thorpe learned about Head Start at her grandmother's knee on the island of Guam. Although she wasn't a Head Start student, her grandmother was the nurse for the program; she often brought her granddaughter to work, where Robinson-Thorpe observed the program through a child's impressionable eyes.
When she later enrolled her own son in Head Start in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, she was open to becoming actively involved. The experience has empowered her beyond her expectations.
"Head Start quickly pulled me into…the parent committee, to volunteer on the policy council," she recalls. "…I got back the voice I thought I had lost."
Robinson-Thorpe marveled at the fact that Head Start valued her opinions and encouraged her to be a leader. She says, "…they knew that my love for my child extended beyond the walls of my own home, that it extended out into Head Start, into the different centers that we have, into the community."
She celebrates many aspects of her Head Start experience: the opportunity to meet and work with an ethnically diverse collection of people, to make friendships that will last a lifetime, and most of all, the benefits that her son has derived from the program. Robinson-Thorpe remarked, "Head Start has been instrumental in helping my child to develop at a pace that he's been comfortable with." She realizes how important it is for him to see that his mother has a keen interest in every aspect of his education, that she supports and is a part of his healthy development.
Robinson-Thorpe gives Head Start her highest endorsement: "I can honestly say that there's not any place right now that I think would be a better place for my son to be and I know, without a doubt, that there is no place else in the world that I would rather be right now…I have Head Start running through my veins."