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For Susana, the Family Support Center was a chance to learn English. That chance turned into an opportunity for her and her young son, Alex, to learn and become part of the community.

In the fall of 2014, Susana began attending the morning ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses at the Family Center. She was immediately surprised to learn that the center offered childcare while she attended class, and she was encouraged to participate in the daily parent-child activity. Despite knowing about other classes offered in the afternoons, Susana was hesitant to participate and focused on improving her English skills.

Over time, Susana developed relationships with the Family Support Center staff and they convinced her to try out the afternoon classes. She was again surprised to find out that the center let the children take naps so their mothers could participate. With the support she received from the staff, Susana began taking the afternoon classes and enjoying them! Soon, she was encouraging other moms to take the courses offered. Susana took Health Presentation and Parenting classes and even attended Parent Leadership meetings. Young Alex also benefited from his mother’s participation at the Family Center, learning critical developmental and social skills.

Susana’s involvement with the center provided an opportunity for her to participate in the Family Center’s Advisory Board where she and her peers suggested improvements the center could make. This led to the implementation of cooking classes at the center; one of which Susana taught with another mom. With that, the student became the teacher!

In the Spring of 2017, Susana was selected to speak on the behalf of the Family Support Center to the Board of Directors of the Maryland Family Network. She was professional, positive, and passionate about the education she and her son received and the childcare provided to young Alex.

Susana and Alex have come a long way in the past three years. She is still taking classes and is pursuing her GED; and Alex is now participating in the Head Start Program. HSP is proud of both Susana and Alex for their commitment and dedication to their education and for making the most of the opportunities provided by the Family Support Center.

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