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NEENA'S STORY

Special Educator/Head Start Alumni Parent

 
Greater Bergen Community Action
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“One day we had a workshop for parents and the workshop was at the local library for the parents to tell us how to read. And the lady asked me can you read something and explain it and I couldn’t do that I was so nervous and so confused that I asked myself I have a BA from India this is not who I am I have to learn something, to do something. So from that day they provided a program for the parents ESL. I joined the program ESL and from there they said okay you are good for ESL go to community college. I went to community college, they said ok you have a BA why don’t you start university now. I went to university. In the meantime I’m getting support from my head start people. Teachers and family workers are saying ‘okay we can guide you go ahead do it, try.’ From university I had one semester undergrad and my professor said why don’t you try the master’s program and after one semester I was in the master program.

 

I never thought that after all that happened in 6 or 7 months, all these dramatic things and staying home for years… jumping into the master’s program... it was challenging and difficult but experience I got . Working here as a volunteer, working as a sub, working as a Teachers assistant when I was doing my studies… all those experiences, my experience, I put into my masters and I graduated last year with a masters in teaching.  Presently I’m doing translations for NY state bilingual dept. I’m also authorized to work for NY early intervention dept. as a child development specialist. So thank you head start. Every step I got help from work and the main thing is I was working so I could afford my studies. Slowly saving from here and spending on school. Many things happened many ups and downs happened. I lost my parents within two years…. I was about to leave my studies and my job but I got support from my head start people, Miss Zukay was with me my family worker with me ‘okay whatever you need we are here. You need help in study? You need help in wherever. You want go? Okay. You come back? We are here. I always share my stories because this is our story. Our story of struggle and our story of success.“

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Greater Bergen Community Action

Greater Bergen’s Head Start program provides free early childhood education and family services to low-income families in Bergen County, Jersey City and Paterson, NJ. Comprehensive services and resources prepare children for kindergarten, enhance their emotional and physical well-being, and foster stable family relationships.

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Contact Us

Bergen County Head Start

263 Lafayette Avenue

Cliffside Park NJ 07010

201-366-1020

Jersey City Head Start

93 Nelson Avenue

Jersey City, NJ 07307

201-884-1050

Paterson Head Start

500 E 35th Street

Paterson, NJ 07504

973-546- 2634

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