Head Start Alum Traces Her Path from Migrant Fieldworker to Executive Director
If someone had asked a five-year-old Irma Morin what she wanted to be when she grew up, she never would have imagined that she’d one day rise to the role of executive director at the Community Council of Idaho, Inc., Idaho’s largest nonprofit serving Latinos. As the daughter of migrant farm workers, Irma had a difficult journey from migrant worker to executive. However, from the beginning, she was determined to make her parents proud. “My parents seeing me walk down the aisle with a college graduation cap and diploma was the ultimate gift I could give for all that they had done for me,” said Morin.
As a child, Irma attended the Community Council of Idaho, Inc.’s Head Start program in Nampa, ID. From this early age, Irma was set on her desire to further her education. However, her family was soon on the move and Irma struggled to obtain consistent schooling. As her family traveled to California alongside other farmworkers, Irma witnessed the struggles farmworkers faced: “Throughout my childhood, what I defined as the hardest jobs in the world were that of farmworkers.” At the age of eleven, Irma started work in the fields.
Eventually, Irma’s family settled permanently in Idaho. Through the same agency where Irma had once attended Head Start, the family found support and, for the first time, was able to put down roots in a community. Irma described this period as an “opportunity to expand the world I had known. With support of my parents, I challenged myself in every way I could.” With the assistance of Community Council of Idaho, Inc., Irma was able to turn her dream of college into a reality. In 1992, she received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Boise State University. Following her graduation, she knew what she wanted to do: take a job at the Community Council of Idaho and give back to the agency that had done so much for her family.
From that first job, all the way to the top, every time Irma talks to her parents about her work, “all that can be seen is a big smile.” “They are not smiling because of the title I hold with this agency but, instead, they are so proud of the little girl who grew up to dedicate her life to expanding the services that farmworkers and low-income populations once never had or dreamed of having,” Irma said.