As a single father, Rogelio Colon knows all too much about the struggles to balance life’s commitments and the needs for his 5-year-old son, Noel.
He’s incredibly proud of his son but worries about his own capacity to provide Noel with what he needs most.
Roger, as he’s more commonly known, credits Community Progress Council with helping with some of his biggest necessities – the emotional nurturing of his son who’s enrolled in CPC’s Head Start program in York.
The teachers, staff, and family engagement specialists have embraced Roger and Noel, and often provide some of that care that Roger knows his son greatly needs in his life.
Noel has been part of CPC’s Head Start program only since August 2019, but has already flourished, Roger said, in his emotional and social well-being – key components of the early childhood education program. Roger humbly, but proudly, talks about how Noel interacts with other children and works to include his classmates and friends into playtime and other social activities.
“There’s a big sense of relief,” said Roger, 30. “Head Start is planting a seed.”
Roger’s engagement with Community Progress Council started when he was just 9 or 10 years old, and his mother connected with counselors who worked with her to get help with employment and housing. He remembers how excited his mother was that CPC’s staff could provide her with the resources she needed … in Spanish.
Roger lives in York with Noel and his own mother, but he’s largely responsible for his son’s needs and takes that role seriously. He’s excited to get some much-needed support from CPC and sees the growth and progress in Noel.
Today, Roger – when he’s not looking after his son – works in a kitchen at a restaurant east of York, a job he’s held for the past year. Knowing that CPC is helping he and his son in other areas of his life, Roger feels that he can focus a little bit more on his employment.
Now, with his restaurant work and recent ServSafe training certification, food has become not only a way to pay the bills, but has led to an interesting philosophy on life.
“Life is like food,” he said. “You have to spice it up, and add ingredients to make it the way you like it.”
~ Rogelio “Roger” Colon