Maria & Agustin Matacua became parents while still in high school, and twelve years and two more children later, they are just months from saying goodbye to all of their Early Head Start teachers and mentors, as their youngest, Jaylin, is about to graduate from the program.
Juan Miguel, 11, was Maria & Agustin’s first son to attend the Harris Center beginning at just six weeks old. Maria, still attending high school remembers, “Being a teen mother with very little support, EHS made it possible for me to continue my education, and not drop out. I felt secure leaving my child at the Harris Center knowing that he was learning the same time I was.”
Five years later, the couple welcomed Jozelyn Isabel & then Jaylin Liliana arrived in 2015. Both girls followed in their brother’s footsteps and started the EHS program at a young age so that both parents were able to continue their education and start their careers in the Sedalia area.
Not only does Maria give the CHS Early Head Start program much of the credit for helping she & Agustin continue their education, she also notes that the education the kids have received has helped them stay a step ahead in their school careers. “. The program has surely benefited Juan, as today he is an honor student at the SMS, and still loves learning new thing. I cannot imagine how our futures would be without this amazing program.”
As Jaylin ages out of the birth to 3yo program in May, the Early Head start teachers shared that they, too, see their goodbye as bittersweet. Shawn Sharp, EHS Program manager, shared, “This young couple has been with us since they were just teens, and we have seen them grown into terrific, successful parents. Their story is exactly what Early Head Start is all about. We support children so that they enter school ready to learn and help their parents learn the skills to be strong lifelong advocates for their children, of which this family has certainly has.”
As with all of the individuals and families we serve, the Matacuas will forever be part of our CHS family. We are proud of you all, & can’t wait to see what comes next for your beautiful family!