When A’stasia Crawford moved back to York in 2021, she reached out to Head Start right away.
Community Progress Council was able to place her 5-year-old daughter, Ya’Moni, in a learning environment that supported her intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth — all the things she would need to get ready for kindergarten.
A’stasia knows all about the importance of education: She had graduated with her bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry before returning to York, and she wasted no time in enrolling for her master’s degree in health care administration.
Her dream? To become a cosmetic dermatologist.
“My daughter always says, I’m a doctor. She loves school, and she wants to do her homework because she sees me doing it.”
~ A’stasia Crawford
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing, for A’stasia or Ya’Moni.
“At the time, my daughter had never been to preschool, and I wasn’t sure how she was going to adapt,” A’stasia said. “I’m surprised by what she has learned.”
In addition to learning to write her name, A’stasia has noticed a “big change” in Ya’Moni’s emotions and learning how to communicate them. She reinforces at home the lessons that Head Start teachers work on to teach every child how to use their words, even when upset.
A’stasia herself has learned this lesson, thanks to Head Start Education Coordinator Dawn Spangler. When A’stasia was upset over an issue in the classroom, Dawn provided support and guidance to communicate her frustrations in a way that she could be heard.
“I’m grateful that Ya’Moni is going through this program because I have met [Dawn].” A’stasia said. “She is an open ear, and I think that’s important for families.”
The support provided through Head Start and through A’stasia’s Family Coach have empowered her to press on toward her dreams: studying for the MCAT so she can pursue her PhD, and eventually owning her own practice.
“I’m just trying to push myself, to adapt to my life and do what I need to do for my children, and for my school,” she says.
“I would tell any mom to not stop, keep pushing themselves. There’s nothing they can’t do — basically, they’re superheroes.”