Everyday Bessi and her children Jason and Maria have an early start riding both bus and the train to finally arrive at CentroNía around 7:15 AM. “The commute might be long but knowing that my children are learning and growing in a safe place makes it all worth it,” Bessi says. 

Before her children started at CentroNía, Jason was bullied by other young children in his class. This made it impossible for Jason to learn and Bessi knew she had to find a better child care option. As she reflected on the first day they visited CentroNía, Bessi could tell the classrooms were well managed and the community was open and welcoming to her and her children. She applied and was able to enroll Jason into Pre-K and Maria joined the infants and toddlers program

Maria is now following in her brother’s footsteps as she continues to learn and grow in Pre-K. As Maria has gotten older, Bessi is excited to see how well she’s able to speak English and Spanish. She knows colors and numbers in both languages and she loves to recite them. Jason graduated Pre-K four years ago and is now in the third grade and attends CentroNía’s Studio ROCKS, an out-of-school time program, during the school year and breaks. Jason loves to learn about history! Recently he told Bessi about Martin Luther King Jr.’s story after his Studio ROCKS teacher finished a history lesson in their class. Every day when Bessi returns to CentroNía after work to pick up Jason and Maria she hears all about the exciting things her children learned at CentroNía.

During their time at CentroNía, Jason and Maria have connected with one teacher in particular. In fact, on her first day of school this year Maria told her teacher how much she missed him over break and how excited she was to be back at school. For Bessi, it was no surprise to see how much love her children have for all of their teachers. “I’ve seen firsthand what a wonderful teacher he is for my children,” she says. “Every morning they always make sure to acknowledge each student at the beginning of every class, and give each the proper time to learn and develop.”

With Jason and Maria at CentroNía, Bessi knows her children will have a brighter future. When she first arrived to the United States she had a hard time adjusting, so seeing her children learn and grow every day reassures her that her hard work and sacrifices are paying off. It’s not just her children that are growing, Bessi was recently promoted to supervisor at her job and she is planning to take English classes in the near future to improve her skills. CentroNía has provided Bessi with access to the high-quality early childhood education and support services her family needed to learn, grow, and thrive together.