Nicole and Ismael are high school sweethearts with a beautiful family of 8—which grew from six with the birth of their twins Kalimah & Safiyah, who are now two-and-half years old. When their older children were born, they decided as a family that Nicole would stay home to care for them. Now with a larger family, Nicole wanted to work to provide support with household expenses. When Kalimah and Safiyah were born, Nicole and Ismael began their search for a place where their children could learn and grow while they were at work. After an exhaustive search, Nicole found CentroNía.

For Nicole and Ismael , Columbia Heights has always being their “meet up” point since they work and drop off their older children in the area. For that alone, CentroNía was clearly a frontrunner in their decision making process. After discussing their options with friends and families, they were reassured they were making the right choice. 

“A lot of our families and friends had enrolled their children in CentroNía and everyone said wonderful things about the program,” Nicole said.  

When their children were accepted into the program, Nicole and Ismael believe their family has been blessed. Having grown up in the Columbia Heights neighborhood and as a family from different cultural backgrounds, it was important for Nicole and Ismael that her children learn and develop in a diverse, multicultural environment. CentroNía is the perfect place for their twins and they are excited to see them growing more and more each day.

Kalimah and Safiyah were very shy on their first day at CentroNía. Today, they can see how much their social skills have developed by watching the twins interact with fellow early learners and how easy it has become for them to make new friends. They both have a speech delay, which they have also seen improve. Nicole and Ismael were very impressed to see that both of them could recite numbers one through ten in both English and Spanish. The twins also love to sing and read with their teachers (and at home).

Seeing their children grow and develop makes Nicole and Ismael feel very appreciative of the love and support they have received from their teachers and staff at CentroNía. In fact they have now decided to be active participants in the community and volunteer for events and activities held in the classroom and CentroNía Family Center. Nicole currently leads the CentroNía Family Book Club where families read stories, share quality time together doing art or activities, and have a chance to meet other CentroNía families!

They are excited to see their daughters complete their time at CentroNía and know that they will be ready for their next educational chapter.  Nicole and Ismael feel very appreciative of all the support they received from teachers at CentroNía. Thanks to this support they can also focus on their personal goals as a family.  As such, Nicole and Ismael have decided to go back to school and complete their Bachelor’s degree.

“This wouldn’t have been possible if my children didn’t have a place where they can learn while my wife and I work,” Ismael shared. “The fact that my wife is able to work is allowing us to not only provide for our children but also invest in our careers.”