Two-year-old Vashon was unable to speak words or sentences. Feeling unsupported by his school, his mother Cassie found the help she needed at the United Way funded Jeremiah Program.
Cassie came to Jeremiah Program when her son Vashon was two years old. After she and her husband divorced, Cassie decided to pursue her bachelor’s degree, in the hopes of securing a better life for herself and her son. But there were roadblocks she would need to overcome first.
Despite being enrolled in an early childhood education center, Vashon showed no signs of being able to speak words or sentences. Cassie felt unsupported at her son’s school, but she didn’t know what to do. Jeremiah Program helped Cassie learn how to advocate for her son. They also assisted in finding a better school for Vashon with the support services he needed. He also started receiving in-home speech therapy. All this, while Cassie diligently worked to achieve her college goals at Endicott College Boston.
In just a few short years, Vashon has blossomed from a very introverted 2-year old into an incredible boy who loves school. He now expresses his needs and emotions with words and gets along well with his teachers and the other children. As for Cassie, she’s on track for receiving her bachelor’s degree.
Snapshot: How we’re supporting young children
- $3.3M – United Way’s annual investment in supporting young children
- 12,681 – children enrolled in early education and care programs last year
- 4,462 – families receiving home visit and parent support services
In low-income neighborhoods, the youngest children are most vulnerable. The stresses of poverty during these critical years do tremendous harm to a growing brain. And children whose parents are unable to engage in their development can lag as much as 6 months behind in vocabulary development by age 2.
Our solution involves the whole family, allowing parents to work and their young children to grow and thrive, supporting them by:
- Expanding access to high-quality early education and care programs that promote early literacy and social skills.
- Giving parents and caregivers the resources to engage with children and support healthy development, as well as the tools to screen for developmental delays if needed.
- Scaling a 2-Generational, whole family model that enables parents to work and children to thrive.
We work with 53 strategic partner agencies in 142 communities to support young children. Our partners include:
- Jeremiah Program
- ROCA, Inc.
- Catholic Charities
- Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts