Your support for our Early Childhood Education program provides an opportunity for parents, like Miguel, to get involved with their children and create lasting memories. Please enjoy Miguel’s story and learn about the community CentroNía is able to build with your support.
“No matter how many books you read or what your relatives tell you—being a parent is something that you learn everyday”
Miguel was born in Peru and immigrated to the United States 23 years ago to reunite with his mother who relocated in search of opportunities for herself and her family. Today, Miguel is the father to four beautiful children. Reflecting on when his first two children started school, Miguel recalled he struggled to participate in their education. He knew getting involved at school would help him play a role in their lives, but Miguel was unable to connect with the community. Complications in his relationship with their mother also clouded these efforts. As a result, he watched idly as his first children’s formative years passed by ever so quickly.
Miguel first learned about CentroNía when his third child, Daniela, was born. Miguel knew he wanted to be more involved in her life. He wanted things to be different.
Shortly after Daniela started in CentroNía’s Early Head Start program in Maryland, Miguel met with Roberto Flores, CentroNía’s Family Support Specialist. Roberto listened to Miguel’s desire to be involved and shared real solutions and a lot of encouragement to make it happen. Through regular socialization events, workshops, and field trips—the path to becoming more involved in Daniela’s educational experience became more clear Roberto also introduced Miguel to CentroNía’s fatherhood initiative—a special program that provides opportunities for fathers just like him to meet each other and build a community around their child’s education and development.
After the first workshop, he was convinced this was the right place for him and Daniela. With ample support from Roberto and a welcoming community at his fingertips, Miguel quickly blossomed.
“The workshop was an eye opener for me. I realized I was not present for the education of my first two children. From that day forward I decided to attend all socialization events, workshops, and field trips. I am so grateful to experience everything alongside Daniela. CentroNía showed me how to become a better parent.”
Miguel wholeheartedly believes the support he received from staff members like Roberto allowed him to fully understand that his involvement was vital for him as a father and for his young daughter. As a parent, he was proud to be able to support his daughter. He developed great relationships with staff members, teachers, and administrators and learned to enjoy daily developments in Daniela’s education.
“CentroNía wasn’t only Daniela’s second home but it had become MY second home. She learned English very quickly and memorized everybody’s names.”
Daniela has since graduated from CentroNía, and Miguel enjoys using his voice to share his experience and encourage parents—especially fathers—to get involved in their children’s education just like he did with Daniela. He currently serves as the President of the Policy Council for CentroNía’s Early Head Start program. Miguel and his wife recently welcomed a new son, Michael, into their life. Michael is now happily learning alongside the same teachers his sister loved. Today Miguel’s work schedule is less flexible, so now his wife is excited to have more time to participate in CentroNía’s programming and share some of the same experiences Miguel had with Daniela.
Consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of families like Miguel’s who want the best start for their youngest children. Just $100 can provide much needed hygiene supplies for an Early Childhood Education classroom.