Kay Dease

–  Kay Dease, family service advocate, Rock Hill, SC

Kay Dease with her sons outside

My name is Kay Dease and I am the single parent of two wonderful boys, ages 15 and 11. My Head Start experience began in 2004. My friend told me about this program called Catawba Indian Nation Head Start. She said how great the program was and that I should really look into enrolling my oldest son who was my only child at the time. I remember thinking this would be great: I wouldn’t have to pay for child care, but little did I know that Head Start was so much more than that. I went the same day to enroll my son only to be told that they didn’t have any openings. This really discouraged me and I left thinking he wouldn’t get in. The director called me about an hour later and said that they had an opening if I wanted it. I went back in and filled out my enrollment packet and my son started the next day.

Head Start quickly became a very important part of my life and so did my family service worker. She asked me one day if I have any goals that I would like to meet for myself or my son. My response was: “Yes, I would like to earn my GED.” She immediately got me in contact with the appropriate people to begin the process. I earned my GED in 2006 and began working for the same Head Start in July of 2006. Since earning my GED, I have gone on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education administration and I am still employed as a family service advocate at Iswa Head Start, formally known as Catawba Indian Nation Head Start. I hope to begin working on my master's degree in social work this fall. Head Start is truly an amazing program that educates not only the child but the entire family.