National Head Start Fellowship Webinar
Amanda Bryans: Hello, everyone. We are so excited that you can be with us here today. And we are even more excited that we are finally in a place where we're coming back to the National Head Start Fellowship. Can we start the slides, please? I'm going to be completely lost without the slides.
Dr. Futrell, the director of the Office of Head Start will be joining us at the end of today's presentation. And we looked at the list of all of the people who are attending. We know there are so many people who know a lot about the Head Start Fellowship much more than I do. I welcome you all to use the chat to add comments. Today's webinar is about the history of the fellowship, why we think it was so important. And many of you, hopefully, know that the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start published a forecast saying that we anticipate offering the opportunity to re-establish the fellowship, and there will be a notice of funding opportunity coming out later. We are not going to be talking about that day. We are going to be talking about some of the successes of the fellowship in the past.
I wanted to start with – this is our agenda, because this is what happens in good meetings. You have an agenda, and then you walk through the agenda, and you accomplish the goals that you have. Here is our agenda, and I am walking through it. We're going to do some introductions. We're going to talk a little bit about the Office of Head Start. And then, as I mentioned, we will have information, an overview of the fellowship program. The most exciting part of today's presentation, I'm going to tell you right now, feel free to tune me out because the bulk of today will be a panel of former Head Start fellows, and they are going to, hopefully, really drum up excitement for this program. Next slide, please.
All right, introductions. As I mentioned, Dr. Futrell, a former Head Start participant and assistant teacher, will be joining us later. You all know me, I'm Amanda Bryans. I worked in Head Start for a really long time – I think, I don't know. I mean, I can't even – a long time. I guess I can't even do the math anymore. I think it's over 30 years. Yes, yes it is. I worked for 10 years in a local program, and I had been the director for five years. I applied for the National Head Start Fellowship. I still think it was an error, but somehow, I found myself in Washington, D.C., and it has been just an ongoing, humbling, and amazing experience. I work now overseeing education and research to practice, and I work closely with my colleague, Jamie Sheehan, who is the federal project officer for the National Center on Development, Teaching, and Learning, and also a lead on preschool child development in our office.
And then, we will be joined by our very distinguished fellow alum and panelists, including Almeta Keys, Khari Garvin, Gina Barclay Mclaughlin, and Caren Calhoun, and they will all talk a little bit about themselves as part of the panel, when we get to that part. Next slide, please. I don't want to spend too much time me talking.
All right. Look at that, the Switzer building. That is the home of the Head Start Fellowship. The Office of Head Start is part of the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We are a national leader in the field of early childhood programming and services. We administer Head Start and Early Head Start through a federal to local grant program, and provide oversight for over 1600 public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies that provide Head Start to nearly one million children nationwide. Next slide, please.
The Head Start National Fellowship Program was established in the statute, in the Head Start Act, with the stated purpose of providing opportunities for professionals in the field of early child to expand their knowledge and experience through exposure to activities, ideas for resources, and new approaches in the field of child development and family services. You all know Head Start is very unique in its relationship to families. Next slide, please.
The Head Start Fellowship Program was authorized in 1995 by a Head Start Act. It's sort of champion, and one of its creators was Helen Taylor, Joan Lombardi, who I think is with us today, was also one of the early founders. There were many instrumental people. It was incredibly innovative. There was a lot of direction to ensure that each class of fellows – there was generally one class per year, although some fellows stayed for two years – was accomplished, diverse, and very representative of the children and families that we enrolled in Head Start. It was a very competitive process. We would often have hundreds of applicants for the pretty much up to 10 slots that we had at the time. Next slide, please. I almost forgot to say that. I'm trying to read the comments, too.
I sort of mentioned this – the National Head Start Fellowship was groundbreaking – and you'll note my carefully selected photo here has a child actually breaking ground. I have to do these things for my humor – high profile opportunity for early childhood education leaders and emerging leaders. The idea was to help recognize and promote early childhood as a profession and to give the largely under-recognized leaders and potential leaders opportunities to both participate nationally and to bring visibility to our field. We think there have been significant long-term impacts. We think that the fellowship is unique for many reasons. In addition to adding to the visibility of the early childhood education profession, fellows benefit individually. They benefitted individually in their own professional development, their experiences.
I think less well expected was the network that was formed among each class, each cohort of fellows, and then the larger body of fellows who spread out throughout our field and continue to do work on behalf of children and families and occupy high-level leadership positions. Then I think also, the benefit to the Office of Head Start and having people directly from the field weighing in and helping plan everything from the research agenda to regulation and policy making to training and technical assistance – very unique to have that level of direct input from the field available on a daily basis in the federal government office, which, you may know, can be somewhat bureaucratic. We did publish the forecast in December of 2021, which signals that there is going to be a pending opportunity to re-establish the fellowship. Next slide, please.
The fellowship program, I've said a little, it is investment in developing high-quality leaders. We do think of it as an equity lever. Again, we think that well-done early childhood education, including Head Start, is founded on principles of equity, ensuring access for young children, regardless of circumstances to high-quality teaching, learning, and support, recognition of parents as experts and teachers of their own children, and decision makers in programs, partnerships with parents that help them achieve goals that they've established for their families. The fellowship's a tool for increasing visibility of early childhood as a profession. And it's an opportunity to gain national perspective and knowledge of Head Start operations, while also giving our office direct input from the field.
I was a little ahead of myself in my talking points relative to my slides – that often happens to me, but that's OK. Next slide, please.
Former Head Start fellows made such contributions as contributing to monitoring program design, visiting Head Start programs, creating and leading training, speaking at national conferences and training, participating in professional leadership and development and team building, contributing to ACF Head Start research, and even being authors of Head Start regulations. Next slide, please.
And it is now my great honor and really happy joy to turn this over to Jamie Sheehan. Jamie's our moderator, and she is going to work with our panel to get to the really most compelling part of today's event. Thank you all so much, again, for being there, and we look forward to hearing from Dr. Futrell at the end. Jamie, take it away.
Jamie Sheehan: Thanks so much, Amanda. I love seeing all the chat with former fellows and those who have really helped guide the fellowship during the years that it was in existence. We're glad to be celebrating the return of the National Fellowship. I couldn't sleep last night – it was, like, the first night before school. I'm so happy to be here with our four panelists. And between Amanda and myself, we are amongst five different Head Start Fellowship classes.
Let's get started. We're going to pull up our panelists to the stage, our Zoom stage, so that everybody can see them. And those folks can go ahead and turn their cameras on. Here we are, five former fellows. I'm going to ask the folks who are here to introduce themselves briefly, quickly; your name, what your current position is now, what fellowship year you were in, or your class number – people identify differently. And what was your role before coming to the fellowship? We're going to start with the person who's on the top of my screen, who is Khari Garvin. Welcome to the stage, Khari.
Khari Garvin: Jamie, thank you, and good afternoon, or good morning to some, depending on where you're connected from. But I'm Khari Garvin. I'm so happy to be here. I'm currently president/CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro, in North Carolina. I was part of Class 4 of the Head Start Fellowships, that's '99-2000. And what I was doing before coming to the fellowship, I was working – welfare reform was just coming down the pike – so I was working with St. Louis Community College as a TANF student advocate.
Jamie: I just learned something new. All right let's welcome – next to Khari for me is Almeta Keys.
Almeta Keys: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Almeta Keys, and I am currently the chief executive officer of the Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center here in the District of Columbia. Prior coming to the fellowship in 2006, I was a part of the 2006-2007 fellowship class – the best class. I don't want to start nothing here, but it was the best class – I was the executive Head Start director of the St. Mary Community Action Agency Head Start Program in Louisiana.
Jamie: All right, thank you. And next, we're going to go to Miss Gina Barclay Mclaughlin. Please introduce yourself. Unmute yourself.
Gina Barclay Mclaughlin: Good afternoon, everyone. I am just delighted to be here to see people of the present have the opportunity to meet new people with the same kind of commitment to children and families. I can't tell you how excited I am to participate on this panel, because I have the most incredible memories in my experience as a fellow. It's the greatest. My recollection is, wow, everyone should have this kind of opportunity to have an experience like this that links them not only to what they're doing and their interests, but to their possibilities for their future. And it's just a delight. I want to be connected for the future more, to support the effort of bringing it back. It's wonderful to be here.
I am currently retired from the University of Tennessee, where I was a professor for quite a number of years. But I am so involved. I can't believe that I'm retired because I never have a waking moment.
Jamie: And could you remind us, what did you do before coming to the fellowship?
Gina: Before coming to the fellowship, I was at the University of Chicago as a senior research associate. And I did that for a number of years. But just before that, I was a student at the University of Michigan, where I got my doctorate in psychology and in education. They have a dual program. That took me to a major, major project of … Well, actually, it made me go back to school, because in the field I learned so much. I was challenged by the country's largest public housing development. And I really needed to learn more. It was an important opportunity for me to really have real experiences, with the greatest challenges. And we were a part of the second wave. Early Head Start was the first wave – no, I'm sorry, Head Start was the first wave in 1965, and I was a part of that group, the very first Head Start program.
Jamie: Great. Thank you for sharing. We're going to get to Caren, so she can introduce herself. Caren Calhoun, come on up to the Zoom screen.
Caren Calhoun: I'm Caren Calhoun, I'm currently an early childhood consultant. I retired a couple of years ago from being the Tulsa Educator executive director. When I went to the fellowship, I was a senior director of early childhood programs for Tulsa CAP, and I was in the class of '08-'09.
Jamie: Well, thank you. Thank you all for introducing yourselves. What I thought we'd do now, there seems to be a lot of competition happening in the chat. I'm not sure how this is going to go, if anybody ever wants to [Inaudible] this. This is a lot of competition. But we're here for it, especially Almeta, you have a lot of fans in there.
Almeta: Hi, I saw!
Jamie: Let's take a further trip down memory lane. When I was thinking about putting some of these questions together, I have to say it was pretty fun. What I thought we'd do now is, if you could tell us a little bit more about how you arrived at the fellowship. How did you hear about it? What made you apply? How did you feel when you were accepted? I think that's a big emotion. And then if you could share sort of what your main area of work was, or your major accomplishments. If you could each take about two to three minutes to describe a little bit of your memory lane – let's start with Caren Calhoun, we'll go back to you.
Caren: OK. I actually, each year, would receive, like, a flyer, that would come, I think, back then, faxed. It never meant anything to me. But this one year on '08, it kind of resonated. And I was, like, “Man, I sure would like to go to D.C.” And there really aren't, at our level, good professional opportunities. I thought, “I should look into this. I should really see about this.” I talked to my supervisor, and he actually said, "I would support this. I would support you going to do this." I knew that I needed to learn – I only knew, in Oklahoma, about Oklahoma. I only knew about program. I had no idea about national – anything national. I didn't realize now naive I was. I learned that while I was in D.C. I'm still a little naive, but I did learn a lot about that.
I really wanted to learn about program and practice, practice and policy. I really wanted to learn about higher level. I heard that Oklahoma was a leader in early childhood – I wanted to find out if that was true. I wanted to just get more professional development, learn about myself as a leader. After I got accepted to the fellowship, I was really excited. I felt so honored. It was a huge commitment. I was really nervous because I'm an Oklahoma girl, and I'm going to move to the East Coast for a year. And that was very nervous. I actually took my mom with me the first month, and she just stayed there. Office of Head Start asked me to go to Phoenix for a week for training, and I just left my mom in my little carriage house in Alexandria for a week, I'm, like, "Oh, I have to go somewhere, bye." And here, she's 75, and she just stayed there. I told her to learn the bus routes and stuff while I was gone.
My area of work was budget and policy, which was interesting because I knew a lot about budget, but nothing about policy. But when I interviewed, they asked me about – I knew we were going to share information, they were going to learn from me, and I was going to learn from them. And I told them I didn't have anything to tell them about policy. They asked if I could do a crosswalk between CLASS and Head State Performance Standards, and I said, "Oh yeah, I can do that." They're, like, "That's policy." I was, like, "Oh, OK." I worked in budget and policy. And that's kind of how it started, but so honored, so scared, so overwhelming, but so worth it.
Jamie: Thanks, Caren. Almeta, want to tell us a little bit your trip down memory lane?
Almeta: Yes, I would love to tell you. I was in my office working with hurricane relief and recovery; Katrina had just happened. And during that time, everyone was doing everyone's job. I answered the phone call from Jo Herron. She was calling and introduced herself from the Office of Head Start, but she said, "I'm not calling on behalf of the Office of Head Start." She said, "A few of us got together and we want to send donations to the residents of New Orleans, and we heard about you, and we thought that we could channel them through you." And I said, "Well, I'm not the president of the Association any longer." I was giving her another name. She said, "No, no, no, we want to send it through you." We established that.
And then afterwards, it hit me, the Office of Head Start. And I'd had a dream of one day working at the Office of Head Start. And there was Jo Herron on the other end. Then I said, "Is this THE Office of Head Start?" She said, "Yes, it is." I said, "You know what? One day I'm going to work at that office." And she said, "Oh, really? You'd like to come to Washington?" And I said, "Yes." She said, "Well, have you heard about the fellowship program?" I said, "Yes, I heard about it, but I just kind of put those flyers aside," like Caren. And she said, "Well, OK," she said, "Well, maybe you should consider it." And we said our goodbyes, and that was that.
Well, within the hour, I got a telephone call from Jo, and Jo said, "Almeta, I have good news for you. Because of Katrina, they have opened up/extended the deadline to the Gulf Coast region." She said, "And if you want to apply for the fellowship, you can apply now." I was, like, oh my God, be careful what you ask for. You just might get it! That's how I heard really more about the fellowship. And then I knew I had some obstacles to overcome; I had a husband, a boss who I didn't think would let me go. And there was just so much that I had to overcome, but she said, "You only have a week." And in that one week period, I was able to overcome those obstacles, everyone was so supportive. And I found myself sitting in a fellowship class in Washington, D.C. There's so much more to tell, you just don't have the time.
Jamie: I bet. All you had to do is mention Jo Herron's name, and the chat lit up, too, and everybody's faces lit up. We certainly remember her fondly today, and I'm sure the angels are happy hearing her name over and over. Gina, how about you telling us a little bit about your trip around memory lane and how you came to the fellowship?
Gina: I was at the crossroads with making some decisions about what I wanted to do, and whether I wanted to be in research, what kind of research I wanted to do, with the focus on children. I had worked in the country's largest public housing development, and I was so challenged by that. For me, it was an opportunity to really talk to people who I consider mentors to me, who helped me to just explore my dreams and the possibilities. And it was just at the perfect time of me saying, “Do I want to continue doing this research? And how do I want to see myself linked to policies that emerged from it?”
It was just a perfect timing for me. Really, Helen, the Head Start director said to me, "I think you should really consider leadership in Head Start at the national level, and that's where I'd like to see you join this." And I said, "I don't think I want to really do that," I said to myself while she was talking. I really want to learn more, and I felt that being focused on the kind of research that we're doing with children and families, particularly in poverty communities.
The fellowship allowed me to really make those linkages. I think it was just wanting to go to a new level in a new community, new environment, and thinking about, “What do I want to contribute? What do I need to learn in order to make that kind of contribution?”
Jamie: Thank you, Gina. Khari, how about your trip down memory lane?
Khari: Well, Jamie, thank you. Mine is pretty simple. I was attending a welfare reform conference, actually in Atlanta, and I was in a session, an attendee in a session, and it just so happened that another attendee in that session was a woman named Lynn Mitchell – I'm sure that's familiar to many of you. And she was currently a fellow at the time. She approached me at the end of the session and just let me – she told me about the fellowship program. I had not known about it, she gave me the information, and I did the homework from that day forward and applied. History showed I was successful through the process. But I will forever be grateful to her for promoting this and just making me aware of such a rich opportunity.
I had the pleasure and the opportunity to actually be assigned to the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, OERI. I was part of actually the Department of Education, so it was a little bit of a different placement. But through that work, I did some research in early childhood mathematics that really informed my ability to earn a master's degree later on, and so on and so forth. This rich experience, but I'll be forever indebted to Lynn for that.
Jamie: Thank you. Yeah, I was thinking about my memory lane. I was surrounded by fellows all the time, and I was, like, “I want to be in this club.” And I was just waiting, and people would say, "Don't let another year go by, it might not be around." And I was, like, oh my gosh, what does that even mean? And then – sorry for those who came after 2011, but here we are in today – didn't know that would actually be a possibility to not have it for a little while. But we're coming in strong for 2022. So incredible – thank you all for sharing about your transitions to becoming – or where you were before you started the fellowship.
Now we're going to focus a little bit on your transition – what was it like? Again, thinking about the memory lane, what was it like to transition? There's so much that goes into it. It's just not about a career change. As some of you mentioned, you had a husband, you had a mom, you had a variety of different things to consider. If you each take about one to two minutes and describe what helped you the most, from transitioning from your former world to becoming a fellow, moving, both personal and professional. Khari, we ended with you, but let's go back to you first. Let you catch your breath for a second.
Khari: Thank you very much. We're talking about transition – so for me, I'm scared to say this, because I was a much younger man. I was 27 when I came to the fellowship, so I wasn't as rooted or established. I wasn't married at the time, or any of that, so for me, it was a little easier to sort of pick up from where I was. I was in Missouri. I was able to leave where I was. I didn't have a house to sell or rent out. I could just leave my apartment and go to Washington, D.C. And being that age, being in your mid-20s in Washington, D.C., that's not a bad place to be.
The transition worked out for me very well. And we just had a lot of support along the way, through the process was structured in a way where it really sort of helped to make that transition, in terms of identifying new housing, and all of the rest. I really appreciated that about the process. And for me, it was pretty seamless.
Jamie: It never gets old, I'm still on mute and starting to talk. Caren, how about you? How was your transition? And what helped you the most?
Caren: I think the thing that helped the most was they paired us up with fellows from the year before. They spent two or three days with us and actually drove us around and showed us where they lived, showed us areas of town. And Jamie was one of the ones that was in the year before me and my year. That helped so much. They actually sold us some of their furniture. And then also, just the fellows that were in our class, we were all in the same boat. I also was married; my husband was military, so he worked his schedule out where about every five weeks, he could come up and stay at the Pentagon for a week, and that was a good transition. I brought a 12-year-old with me, so I needed to live in Virginia, because I wanted him to go to the schools there. I had to look for an area there.
But everybody helped. Those fellows, the year before, I depended on them a lot, and still depend on them a lot. I mean, I still have a connection with them, the relationships have been amazing.
Jamie: Thank you. Gina, how was your transition?
Gina: Well, I think it was rather smooth. I was so excited about having this opportunity. I had a lot of support; I already knew a lot of the people on the national level and the regional level because I was a part of six and eight states doing training. I really had the opportunity to know the programs. It was really like making that connection on a higher level, and having that support from the ground level. It was smooth, and it was exciting.
Jamie: Thank you. Almeta, how about a little bit more about your transition?
Almeta: In terms of my transition, it started with my Regional Office, and sharing with them the opportunity that was being afforded to me. They always would talk about, “In Washington, this, and in Washington, that.” They helped me to understand some things that I would encounter when I go to Washington so it wouldn't be total culture shock. You have to know where I'm from to know it was quite a transition from a rural area into a metropolitan area. So the Regional Office, and then, there was a national organization that really helped me to transition. As a matter of fact, one of the staff at this national organization invited me to live in her home for the first few days or so until I found housing. That was covered for me because I knew nothing about Washington. I didn't know where I was going to live.
And then we had a guide, Julie, who really, really helped us, showed us the city, showed us around. And then the fellows – we were such a close-knit group where we helped each other. And on those days that I felt really down, they were there to lift me up, and vice versa. It was just – I can't put my hands on any one thing, but it was just so many people in support of the fellowship that I'd been afforded, and that's what helped me through it. And not to mention the leaders at the Office of Head Start – I've always had this, I guess, image of who they were. And when I got a chance to really connect with them, just the caring and the commitment to this fellowship program, wanting us to succeed, and wanting us not to have any problems – I mean, that really spoke volume to where I was and where I was going with this fellowship.
Jamie: That's such a nice reflection. Thank you all for sharing your reflections. It is not an easy transition to make. Well, I mean, it can be easier, but it's definitely a commitment. There is that required commitment to make that transition. Thank you all for sharing.
All right, we're going to keep rolling with these questions. We're going to transition – haha – to a little bit more about the impact that the fellowship had on you. I have a question. I'm going to pair these questions up. I have a question for Caren and for Gina. How do you feel that you grew during your experience as a Head Start fellow? We'll start with you, Gina.
Gina: Wow, I grew in multiple ways. Just being a part of a group that was so closely linked together, it was like a family. And you could go to each other and get support and knowledge and deeper understanding. It was about building relationships within the fellowship. I have to really give credit for my growth and my further development from my cohort, just an amazing group. And I maintained a lot of relationships since.
And then, I often think back about how I got a chance to meet people within the Bureau. Some of them I knew by telephone, but I'd never met. To really understand how it works, how Washington works, in multiple ways as an area, a national area, but also how it works in terms of policy – that was very important to me, is just understanding. I could go on and on and on, and anybody that knows me knows I go on and on and on about the multiple kinds of impact. The local Carol Brunson Day – I knew her from Chicago, I knew her mother, who was an amazing impact on me. But having that relationship with the fellows and the things that she really did, sponsoring group for our training. And just the Head Start Bureau people – I can't really narrow it down to one single factor. But all these collective impacts that I felt influenced my life, and continued to, continued to influence me in so many ways. I'm not directly involved with Head Start; I'm involved with agencies that are linked to Head Start in other ways.
I'm really focusing now on race and equality and how that impacts the context that children have to grow up in. I've been able to step up in different – branch out in different ways that connect to what I think is important for children to grow up in healthy environments, and have the support and resources they need. I have broader vision now, big visions. I want to see myself as continuing to create a society where children are supported early in their lives and have that context for healthy development, and they're valued across race.
Jamie: I love that you started thinking about the cohort of your fellowship and the closeness, and then expanding to how you branched out, and then to where you are today, so thank you.
And I don't know if you know, but Carol Day is participating today, I saw her name in the chat …
Gina: Oh, that's great!
Jamie: I'm sure she has appreciated hearing her name.
Gina: Well, she was amazing. Amazing.
Jamie: Yes, we all agree with that. Thank you. Caren, how about you? How do you feel you grew through your Head Start experience as a fellow?
Caren: If somebody asked me what your biggest accomplishment in life, I would say the Head Start Fellowship. When I reflected back, I think the biggest part is, I gained confidence, personally and professionally. Even moving out of state, and that was totally out of my comfort zone – building so many relationships at all different levels, brand new, like Gina talked about, our cohort of fellows the year before, the national organizations. My community of Tulsa so respected me going. And when they would come to D.C., the leaders in Tulsa would ask me to meet them, and they would ask me what I wanted to do, and I came back. I mean, I felt so respected in that area. I felt like I could dream my own destiny.
In our professional world, my confidence got built. We had four different areas that we worked in, and one was mentors. And I was lucky enough to have Joan Lombardi as one of my mentors, and Julie Schull. They just – role modeling was great. And then meeting them and getting feedback, reflection. And then we had the leadership classes that looked at your baggage, your strengths, your diversity. You know, the leadership classes at first, I thought, these are kind of flaky, because I'd been just, get her done, working 15 hours of day, and they were all reflecting, and I was, like, “OK, whatever.” But I did my assignments, and then I started looking at myself, looking at perspective. I thought, “You know, I'm just kind of a go-getter, Maybe I need to slow down and boost my emails up a little bit” – Jamie taught me that part – to make sure I say "Hi" before I just start shooting orders out.
And anyway, the national organizations, we got to go visit them and learn what they're really about, and find out what they do, and meet the national leaders. And they treated just like royalty. And that was really nice. And then the work – we got to spend a week – I know nothing, I didn't realize, in geography, I didn't listen. I didn't know – I learned that … We spent a week at the Capitol, and I learned how to pass a bill. And as I was there, I was, like, “Oh yeah, I kind of remember that in school, a little bit.”
But … And some of the things that Office of Head Start took a fall for in the field, in my eyes, I didn't realize were legislative actions. That was like I've learned in the first two weeks, I was, like, “Oh, I thought you guys just kind of dreamed this up.” I actually was so naive, I didn't even realize that the President – it was a government-appointed position, the Office of Head Start. I'm, like, “Boy, they have some turnover up there.” I mean, seriously, I'm probably not the only who's that naïve. I think early childhood people, we just live our own early childhood life, and I even have a business degree. Anyway, that was a big thing. I think that mostly just growing my confidence and my knowledge was my biggest accomplishment.
Jamie: Yeah, thank you. I love when you said, "Dream your own destiny." That's so perfect about the propulsion that the fellowship can give you. And definitely, I think we all had similar experiences in our leadership aspects of the fellowship.
OK, I'm going to turn this next question over to Khari and Almeta. What was the greatest benefit of your fellowship? Almeta?
Almeta: I would say the greatest benefit of my fellowship was leaving there with a sense that there was no challenge, no problem that I would face that I couldn't be a part of the solution. It brought out the leadership in me, and it made me to know that before I even focused too much on the problem, understand that there was a solution, and I was to be a part of that solution. I say that that's the greatest benefit, because even right now, with COVID and so much going on, that everyone's looking for – you know, they're focusing on problems, but we need to focus on the solutions. What can we do as empowered fellows to be a part of the solution for schools and for families coping with mental health, and just so much?
I think that that – I mean, in terms of the passion, I had passion when I came to the fellowship. They only just blew it up a notch, OK? The desire to help families; I was a former Head Start parent, and that was planted in my heart to give back, and to do all I could to help other Head Start parents live their dreams. But there were real-life problems and situations that were going on while I was in the fellowship, and even more now today, that as a fellow, I know that it is my responsibility to step up and not look at how the situation is, and who’s going to be there to resolve the situation – I have to be a part of the solution.
Jamie: You know what, Almeta, I'm so glad we're recording this, because I think what you just said is so powerful. I think we're going to pull out some pieces and do something with those voice clips of yours. That was amazing. Thank you for sharing the greatest benefit of the fellowship to you. Khari, sorry to have to – to top Almeta, but I'm going to ask you the same question. What was the greatest benefit of your fellowship?
Khari: I appreciate it. I'm not sure if I'll top Almeta, but two things I would just point to. The first is just the visibility into government operations, understanding policy and how it's developed, how it's regulated and monitored for compliance, and how it's implemented. Understanding that was a huge take-away from me. And then the second – the professional affiliations, I mean, within my cohort and even across the spectrum. Other relationships that I was able to develop through the fellowship, whether it was – I know Carol Day's name's come up several times, but again, just a great, great resource. Or Sue, or even Joan Lombardi, who I reconnected with in a previous job I had. I mean, it's just interesting how decades later, you can still maintain these significant relationships. I would say those are the two things, visibility of the government and then the professional affiliations.
Jamie: Yeah, the "decades later" part is really important. All you needed to drop in some certain circles is that you were a Head Start fellow and everybody – just the conversation lightens, but it gets deeper at the same time. It's incredible.
I have a question for Gina and Almeta. Did you face any challenges during your fellowship or after your fellowship? And how did you overcome those challenges? Gina, would you like to go first?
Gina: Well, I think just by the nature of being in a new environment, I think what was so exciting for me was, I had inherited grandchildren. I had to juggle a whole lot of things that I hadn't anticipated or planned to have to deal with. Relationships are important. The fellows were so involved in my life, in my personal life, and support. And I think that's probably one of the greatest benefits, is the networking within the fellowship group, where we could trust each other for whatever challenged us. Individuals had their own talents, so it was the support from within. But also, being able to travel outside of the fellowship structure to learn about other parts in Washington and how it functioned.
We would kind of get together and go to other places after hours, you know? I call it the after-set, where we just had informal experiences and opportunity. And a fellow would say, "Oh, you need to go and check this out." You know, we'd get in our cars and – my husband came there, so he was our cabbie. He took his sabbatical, and he was getting to know Washington, but he'd pile up all the fellas in the van, and we would go from one place to the other. It was that link and that experience both on the personal level, as well as our professional level and ambition. So, yeah.
Jamie: Thank you, Gina. I love what you said about the networking and the support and the trust, that everyone each had their own individual challenges, but collectively you were all there kind of supporting each other. That's really powerful. I think we focus a lot about what we bring and what we can take away from the office, but the camaraderie amongst each fellow's class is really important. Almeta, how about you? Any challenges that you faced during or after the fellowship? And how did you overcome those?
Almeta: OK – challenges with a capital C.
Jamie: All caps, huh?
Almeta: All caps, all caps. For real, for real. I had only been in the fellowship about, I guess, two weeks, and my husband had a heart attack. I had to go back to Louisiana to see about him. I just knew they were going to kick me out of the fellowship. But instead, the fellows, along with the leadership, they embraced me and helped me through this very difficult time. And I thought that I was going to have to resign and go and take care of my husband, and he was, like, "You go back." He saw something transforming in me. He said, "You go back." He said, "I'm going to be all right." And while I was trying to make my mind up which is the best hospital to send him to, he said, "Lady, just let them patch me up, and you go back to Washington."
I did that, and I was back in Washington. During the fellowship – and I kid you not – my son-in-law passed away. Thank you, Michelle Brown, for being there for me. My sister passed on the day I had a job interview. My nephew drowned – all of this is in the space of one year. And my fellow fellows were right there with me all the way. And then I went back. I went back to think about Head Start and think about the leadership in Head Start, and it was always there. I thought about Dolly Wolverton and Helen Taylor, and some of the things they said about parents, and how we were resilient, and how Head Start needed to recognize that parents were very much a part of the solutions in all of the situations that Head Start addressed.
I was kind of built up to think and to believe that I was stronger than what I really was, and that strength that I drew from those leaders – Helen Taylor, Yasmina, Sarah – just so many. You know, if I start calling names out, I will leave someone out. But just the strength that I drew from the leadership gave me what I needed to overcome some of the challenges that I faced.
Were there challenges? Yes. But the one thing Jo Herron said, and it was the first week that we were there, might have been the first class that we had, she said, "There's one word that I need you to understand and to just get it all inside of you,” and that one word was change. She said, "Things change before you know it, and you have to be ready for change." Because everything that Jo said was gospel – you all know it was – I just believed it. And as the changes were coming – and they were coming hard, and they were coming heavy – I stayed focused, and I knew that I was there for a purpose. And later on – you said after leaving the fellowship – later on after leaving the fellowship – and by the way, I never said what area I worked in. I worked in the area of monitoring. That desk review that everyone is enjoying right now, Kenny Banks and myself, we were a part of the development of that tool, and I'm sure it's been improved many times since then.
That disaster preparedness handbook that's across the country right now because I was coming from an area that was hit with a disaster – I had my little hand in there. Amanda, I had my hand – I was everywhere over – they told us to make ourselves at home, and I made myself at home in every area, and learned as much as I could learn. Even leaving the fellowship, I left the fellowship knowing that there was no mountain – and I'm not trying to – and by the way, I am a Baptist minister also, so if you hear a little bit of that, that's what's going right now. But I'm feeling this thing, I really am. This is not just a webinar just for whomever is signed in to the webinar, but the fellowship is a way of life.
It's an opportunity for someone from a rural area, or any area, to come to Washington and learn with those who are making the decisions, and understand why they're making the decisions, how they're making the decisions, and then applying the policies from the top, from the President on down, to understand when we get it on the program level, it has been vetted so many times until we're ready to run with it because we know where it came from.
In leaving the fellowship, I took all that I learned, and also took my fellows with me, because we still communicate. There are times when we get together, but I took all of this to help me through the challenges that I had encountered even after leaving the fellowship. And there are too many to name, but I'm still here. And I'm still strong. And I'm still standing on the principles that the fellowship instilled in me.
Jamie: You certainly are, and you definitely have emphasized being part of the solution, and certainly how to overcome challenges. Thank you for sharing your story.
One more question for our team of panelists, before I move to a different type of question. For Khari and Caren, did the opportunity to be part of the fellowship change your career, your passion for Head Start, the field of early childhood, and/or your personal trajectory? Caren, I see you're already off of mute, so we're just going to go right to you.
Caren: It changed mine a lot. In Jo's leadership class, one of the first things she told us was we're going to be able to dream up our own destiny. I remember at the time thinking – she said, "Dream up your dream job." And I thought, well, I'm kind of in my dream job. And I really didn't have a bad attitude. I just thought that in my head. And as classes went by, I started dreaming up that our organization would split, and Tulsa CAP and Tulsa Educare would become two different organizations, and I would be the executive director of Tulsa Educare.
And what actually happened was, Obama became President when I was there, which was amazing for early childhood. Early childhood became big. Early Head Start grants came out, and the board of Tulsa Educare, the board of Tulsa CAP decided to apply separately for grants, for Early Head Start grants. And they both got about a third of what they asked for, but they had to split. And I dreamed up my own job, and I applied to be the executive director of Tulsa Educare. When I came back, I got my dream job. I was, like, that really happened. That really happened. I got my dream job.
Now what they didn't teach us in the fellowship was, how do you retire from your dream job? You've told everybody it was your dream job, you've lived your dream job, but now you've got to quit. When I tried to quit a couple of times, or tried to retire, they're, like, "No, this is your dream job, remember?" That needs to be in the next iteration of the fellowships, teach people how to move to the next level, dream up retirement. Yes, it made a huge difference in my trajectory. And everything ended great, and we were siblings to organizations and everything. We just were able to serve more children in high-quality services.
Jamie: Thank you, Caren. Khari, how about you? How did being a fellow change your trajectory or your passion or careers?
Khari: I appreciate it. I think it's probably fair, or more accurate to say that the fellowship actually put me on a trajectory, is probably a better way to say it. I came to the fellowship not from a Head Start program, and I know that's not a criteria in the eligibility, but many people do. But I didn't. I didn't come from a Head Start program, I came from non-profit. And as I mentioned, I was working on welfare reform at the time. When I came to the fellowship, lots of things about Head Start were being introduced to me. I was familiar with it, but certainly not as intimately as prior to coming to the fellowship. It actually did put me on a trajectory where, for 20 years, literally for 22 years, my fellowship experiences have been connected to Head Start in many different ways.
At the grantee level, that happened a couple of times, and even I had the privilege to work with the state Head Start collaboration version of the Head Start fellowship program for North Carolina. It has impacted me deeply and has really set me on a pathway that I just simply love. And I owe it all, really, to the fellowship experience for putting me on this trajectory, for being excited about and committed to Head Start.
Jamie: I've got to take some notes on that. I didn't know that about North Carolina, so thanks for sharing that. Thank you all for sharing. I know so many alumni feel the exact same way, as so many of the things that you've shared – I can see that from the chat, I can see that from my phone – who's texting me while I'm moderating a panel? But there are many of you texting me. Stop it! [Laughter]
We have one more set of questions for you guys, but we're going to continue the fun, obviously, with this little popcorn round of questions. We're just going to hop around from person to person, and think about the fun aspects or more of what the fellowship left you with, and setting funny anecdotes. During each of the fellowship classes, we have experiences, we go out on these field trips, we get to meet with national leaders and take advantage – that's one of the great advantages and the perks, as folks have mentioned, all the people that they've gotten to meet. I just want to ask folks to just quickly tell me, what was your favorite or inspirational, or most surprising field trip? Gina, do you remember taking any field trips down memory lane?
Gina: I had so many experiences down memory lane. But because I had an assignment in the research unit, I was able to meet large organizations that were trying to understand outcomes. For me, being able to be exposed beyond the Head Start context and make that link – how do I come to understand where children are in their families and where we really want to be or changes? Being able to go to other agencies that were linked to the kind of support children needed. The Department of Health – I'm trying to remember the exact title of the group – but just being able to go to agencies, like, handling health care, where that was their specialty, it wasn't directly Head Start-managed, but it was Head Start-connected. NIMH, taking field trips so I could just learn about what they're doing and how that really had meaning for the children that we wanted to influence change with.
We made a lot of trips like that. And I have to thank Carol Day for making sure we hooked up in those places, and Jo for making sure we had those opportunities. It was – many of us had Head Start experiences, but we didn't know enough about the agencies at the national level that had the impact in a larger way. Not just looking narrowly at Head Start, but looking at, where do the other influences connect for the children we wanted to make a difference and the families? I want to really say, I got so into working with families, parents as a result of this fellowship, really getting to know parents and doing some things with them.
I started teaching very differently in my classes. I wanted my students to go into homes, and they went into homes with cameras. And they did it in such a creative way, to learn about their life before Head Start – before they got connected with Head Start. And they developed videos that they left with each family of their history. And they had to compare how they're growing up. At the University of Tennessee, there was no diversity; there really wasn't. Here, they're going into urban context, learning about kids who are growing up in different life settings than theirs. And I started this program where they could learn about their own experiences among themselves as interns, but then go into the family and find out about some of their children's homes' context.
Jamie: That's wonderful.
Gina: They were afraid to even go into the homes, and the parents were delighted to have them. And the difference that it made from our research, the difference that it made in the connection of children in their classrooms and the families.
Jamie: Thanks, Gina. That is really powerful, and it's really what it's about. Anybody else? Almeta, do you remember going on any of your favorite or one of your favorite inspirational field trips?
Almeta: Yes. The field trip to Congress, like Caren. I was just so appreciative of learning about laws and how they're made. And I was in awe of all of the senators and the Congressmen as we explored the Capitol. And one of the other fellows and I really explored while we were there. We ended up in a VIP elevator – I just remember Lieberman was getting in the elevator, and he looked – he knew we were lost. They just – I thought they would tell us, you know, "You all have to get off," because they were going to a special place. And they said, "No, no, no, you all stay right here. Stay right here."
We were in the elevator with all of these VIPs, you know – it was really just an amazing place to be and to not be put out with something else, also. But no, on a serious note, just going to Congress, and understanding that this is where it all happens; the programs, all of the regulations that we have, they're all coming from here. That really is the most memorable field trip that I will treasure always.
Jamie: Thank you. Khari, any memorable field trips for you?
Khari: Sure. Two in particular; one is the year that I came through the fellowship program, the PRISM monitoring tool had just come out. I had the opportunity to join a federal review team just as an observer. I was not part of the team, but just an observer down in Florida. That was really neat, and especially with PRISM having just been released. That's one. Then the second would be the trip that our class took to the Haley Farm and spending time with Marian Wright Edelman – I mean, that was just something special. Those two things really stand out in my mind.
Jamie: Caren, any memorable field trip for you?
Caren: Mine's a little different; mine was more surprising. I was thinking about the National Child Care Information Center. It was one of those, I have no idea what we're going to, but it had all of this data. And we do the community assessments once every three years and update them once a year. And I spent so much time, and it wasn't my skillset. When I went there, I was, like, “Oh my gosh, they have all this information that we could get, and you just have to send an email and wait, like, three weeks, and they give you the information” – I had no idea all that was available to us. That was really a big help. I came back and have used it. Or did use it.
Jamie: That's so great. All right, we're going to – let's see, two more questions. What is one thing you learned or experienced during your fellowship that you still apply to your work today? Almeta?
Almeta: I think about the job coach that the Office of Head Start afforded the fellows and how they prepared us. They didn't know whether we were going to go back to our old jobs, or whether we would explore new adventures. But they prepared us for the job market. And I remember the day that I had my job interview, the day I took a field trip to the Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center to meet with the board of directors. I was all excited, and I felt very prepared. And I was getting ready to leave when I got a phone call. And the phone call was from back home, and they were telling me that my sister had just died suddenly.
And I was, like – I was in my office, well, my cubby, by myself. I was just saying, "I'm not going, I can't go." I can't think of anything other than a flight back home. And the job coach happened to come by, and she says, "Almeta, how are you doing? Are you ready? Are you ready?" And I said, "Well, I'm not going." And I explained to her why I wasn't going. And she said, "Almeta, you have to go. You have to go." She said, "I want you to remember three things." She said, "You can do the job, you want the job, and you are available to do the job." I said, "I don't know if I can do that." She said, "I know you can."
She worked with me a little while, and it was time for me to leave for the job. She had me so focused on the job, and I knew she was trying to cause a distraction at the same time so that I wouldn't be so sad. There was nothing I could do about what was happening back at home. I went to the interview that day, and I remembered those three things, and I just continued. I can do the job, I'm available for the job, and I'm ready to do the job. Well, it got me through the interview up until the last question.
And the last question was, "Well, I see you have all the answers, and you say you're ready to leave Louisiana. But what if, what if something happened and you had to go back home, would you leave?" And I said, "No, I'm committed. If I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. I'm available." And they said, "Yeah, but what if, you know, what if it was a relative, somebody died, like your sister or your brother?" And then when they said that – the interview team said that I just started crying. OK, those were real emotions. The fellowship taught me how to be strong, but the fellowship also taught me how to allow my true emotions to come forward.
I just sat there, and I cried. And they were, like, “She was doing so good in the interview! What happened?” Then I told them, I said, "I am here for the job. I can do the job. And I'm available for the job." I said, "And I just got a call before I came to this interview telling me that my sister had passed," I said, "and I'm here. And if that doesn't speak to whether or not I would be available for the job, then nothing else will." And they were, like, [Gasps]. You know, they were speechless.
Well, it wasn't so much that I was so ready, because to be honest with you, I was scared, I was how I was, OK? But the fellowship had prepared me for a solution to what was, at that time, a critical issue that I was facing. But I took my eyes off of what I was facing, on a solution for my future, and I was able to go through. I will always remember that. And I have used that. Not only have I used it, I have shared that with my parents who are going for interviews or are facing different things in their lives. I've shared that with my parents. I've shared that with my staff. I've even shared it with my family members. And it has been something that has been able to get not only myself, but others through and ahead to achieving whatever goals they have set for them. I will treasure that, and I will always keep it.
Jamie: Thank you. I'm just going to ask one final question before we transition to Dr. Futrell. Let's end on a lighter note, or not – what is the fondest memory you have as your time as a fellow? And I'll just leave it open. I won't assign this to anybody, but whoever would like to go first. Looking back, what was your fondest memory?
Caren: Relationships. Relationships. At every level, for me.
Almeta: I would have to agree, the relationships. Those quiet moments when you got to get along with Jo and Ann and Camille, and several of the others. Renee, and even Craig – you know, just those quiet moments – Carmen. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness, I couldn’t even – relationships. The fellowship, it's a family. It's a family. Whether you were from the first fellowship class, like in my agency, my board of directors, he was in one of the earlier – the president of my board, he was in one of the earlier classes. Then I have another staff who was in a later class. But just all of the fellows across the country, connecting with one another, and keeping up with one another. You have to know that this is a special program. And when the fellowship stopped, the fellows didn't stop. We continued the fellowship concept. And had a fellowship going even without the program. I can only imagine, once the fellowship offer is extended and those fellows take advantage of them, I can only imagine how more powerful and impactful the fellowship will be.
I have one more thing I need to say. I was already a fellow before I came into the Head Start Fellowship – I need to say that disclaimer. I was a J&J fellow. And some of the same things that I learned in the OHS fellowship, the leadership aspect of it, like management, making sure that you always have a plan and staying positive, and staying prepared, and knowing that it's all about people, using all of those Ps – those of you who have been in the J&J fellowship, you know what I'm talking about – making sure that you have the right hat on, and making sure that you have the right focus and that your eyes is on another P, the Prize, which is the children – those are just special, special moments. And those are things that a little country girl from Louisiana take to heart, and know that they're life lessons that I can take through the rest of my life. And I don't have to keep them just for myself, but I can also share them with us.
Jamie: Well, thank you. I really want to thank everyone for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your experiences and such great memories. If I knew there was going to be so much engagement in chat, we would have developed many more polls. We would have been asking our audience for some of their favorite memories. It's been great to have this conversation with four former fellows. I hope it's obvious to everyone that this fellows alumni is an invested group, no doubtedly, or undoubtedly. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for participating. For those who are in chat and listening and sending messages, we know that you will be one of the biggest promoters of this when it rolls out, so we appreciate you spreading the word and getting the excitement. We are certainly re-igniting the flame of the fellowship.
I kind of feel bad for this next group that's going to come in, because we're going to swarm them. We're going to just, like, smother them and be so happy that their new group is coming in. But I want to just, again, thanks, everyone. I'm going to pass it back to Amanda, and she's going to pass it to Dr. Futrell, I believe.
Amanda: Yep. I am so moved. I just saved the chat. I hope it works, you never know, but I'm going to try again. And I want to make sure. And we are recording this, so I think we got some incredible – I'm a little emotional – we got some incredible stories. And Jamie will be glad to know that while we didn't poll the audience, they weren't shy, so we have a lot in that chat of additional stories. Definitely a strong move to reunite all of us through now that we're all so proficient at Zoom.
It is my great pleasure to introduce the Office of Head Start director, Dr. Bernadine Futrell. It is because of Dr. Futrell – make no mistake – and just know that we would not be having this – have had a forecast. We're not talking about the NOFO. We would not have had a forecast if Dr. Futrell had not directed us to have a forecast, pretty much as soon as she got in the office. I mean, I believe it is the first direction that I got from her. She listened to a lot of people, and she decided she was going to get this done, and she did it. I think we are so excited about this opportunity again, even more so having just heard all of you.
Dr. Futrell, I hope you have a few things to talk about. I know that equity is another one of the hallmarks of your time in this office, and I hope you talk about that. But I wondered if you might also mention what your very first experience was with Head Start as part of your remarks today, because I think this group would really appreciate hearing that.
Dr. Bernadine Futrell: Thank you, Amanda. Hello, everyone. What a wonderful occasion, just to sit and be in the room. I know it's a Zoom room, but it feels like we're in the room together. And I don't know if anyone in this room has a dry eye, either from crying or laughing, or all of the above. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you, the National Fellows for the Office of Head Start and all of you in the chat. And Jamie, you're right, like, wow, what a wonderful opportunity to bring community together. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you. Wonderful job on the panel. Wonderful moderating, Jamie, and wonderful organization to all of the team at the Office of Head Start.
Super proud to be partnering with our dynamic team to bring the National Fellowship Program back to the Office of Head Start, back to this moment we are in, one that we could not have imagined. And now is the time that we need all hands on deck. I'm super-excited that we get to invest and create new pathways for new fellows to join the Office of Head Start. I got excited, Amanda. You told me to tell my Head Start story, but I needed to say that first, because we just had a wonderful moment here together. I'm just so proud and honored to do this work with everyone.
I'm Dr. Futrell. I'm the director of the Office of Head Start. My first – we call Head Start a "forever family," so no matter where the first was, there's always, like – and then this, and then that. My first Head Start experience, I was 4, and I was in a program on a blue carpet in Mrs. Greene's class as a Head Start student. And I remember just the warmth, the love – all of the things. Whenever I see a little bookshelf that doesn't go quite up as high as the ones we see, I'm immediately reminded of my Head Start classroom and just sitting in the corner, looking at books and reading. I also used to work as an assistant teacher in Head Start. And really, my experience there framed the view of how I approach life and work, that we can do more when we come together than what we could do on our own. And that we have to be partners to extend the greatness that happens in homes towards what is happening in our programs, in our centers, and every interaction that we get, as we're creating the future – I was going to say as we create the future, but it's ongoing. It's always happening.
And this National Fellowship Program is doing that. It's creating space, creating opportunities for leaders to be in rooms, be in places, be in elevators – even if they're the right ones – to really make an impact to say the thing, to bring up the topic, to encourage someone, to do all that is needed, especially as we invest in our children and our families. And as the chat has said, now more than ever, it's so important that we do this together. This is an all-hands-on-deck approach, and if we get an opportunity to do this work with our current fellows, which I'm excited about this happening right here, but also the new fellows that will be joining. I really, really thank you for that.
And Amanda mentioned equity. And what we're doing at the Office of Head Start, we have four big – we're calling them our "big four priorities," and we look at them in this frame of a heart; if I had the graphic, I would show you. But if you think of the four parts of a heart, equity is one of our four priorities. Reaching more children and families is a big four priority. Addressing the challenges regarding the workforce, both compensation and availability, and then also responding to COVID-19, or recovering from it. And those are the big four priorities that we're using as we're moving Head Start forward. And when I talk about Head Start forward, that's been, like, our rallying call since last year – that really means leaning into our past and moving forward. Looking at what you've learned, what you've been through, everything that makes you stronger, and moving forward with it.
And the fellowship program is one of those things that makes us strong and will move us forward. And this heart work that we're calling it, and these big four priorities – I see, we see as just really the through-line that if we address all four of those together, that we can sustain and support our children and our families in receiving high-quality, comprehensive family and child center services, as well as supporting our Head Start community as they're delivering these essential services. I hope you can be a part, engage, be connected with us as we approach this work through Head Start Forward, to really do what we call, what I call the "heart work" of Head Start – the heart work of Head Start is equity, is putting children and families first, and in this moment, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and really investing in our workforce as we move forward.
Again, I am ready and excited, and I cannot wait to see the impact of our new fellows. I know we've got some time, Amanda – I know, I know, it's just a NOFO, but I'm excited to see the impact and just the legacy that these wonderful fellows will take with them, but also the connection, as Jamie mentioned, the forever family that they will become a part of – just so proud and honored.
I want to thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you so much to this dynamic panel for sharing your stories, sharing a part of you and your heart with us today, everybody in the chat. And especially big hugs, hearts, everywhere to the OHS team that has made this possible. Really, thank you all so much.Close
Watch this webinar for a description of the National Head Start Fellowship Program. It includes an overview of the Fellowship Program’s history and features a panel of former Fellows who discuss their experiences and the Fellowship program’s benefits. Learn how the Fellowship Program has operated and hear about the positive outcomes for Fellows, the Office of Head Start, and the field of early childhood.