Bright Beginnings
Success Stories

Ms. C

Ms. C recently got a job at Walmart after overcoming a few barriers to employment. After spending some time with her baby, Ms. C was ready to get back to work. A parent who has worked with the PRC since 2015 she was familiar with our services and made an appointment to work on her resume and practice interview questions. After updating her resume and working on her interview style Ms. C started applying. She submitted an application to Walmart, but at first did not hear anything back. Through her own persistence and will she talked with a manager at her local store, made a great impression and had them pull her application from the system and reevaluate it. She made such a good impression that she was hired and will soon be working at her local store.


The Lincoln Family

Shauna Lincoln, a single mother of five, came to Bright Beginnings longing for a fresh start, hoping to find a way to a better future for her family. She soon enrolled her two younger children, and settled her oldest three in school. Jamila, a shy, sweet three-year old with an inquisitive nature, had some initial difficulty adjusting to Bright Beginnings, but thanks to nurturing support from her teacher and her mother, the little girl soon began to trust others, feel secure, and make friends. Jamila learns and grows best through creative play, exploring her environment at her own pace in a relaxed setting. She has developed good fine motor and social-emotional skills, and overcome her shyness. In fact, once-silent Jamila now proudly recites the daily schedule in front of her entire class!

Jamila’s big brother, Corey, always outgoing and social, is happily enrolled in our Pre-Kindergarten class. He learns and grows best by independently navigating his own activities. Corey relishes solving problems and helping others. His teachers describe him as a “mini-adult,” kind, polite, and ready to lend a hand. Thanks to the academic skills he has mastered this year, he is ready and eager to start kindergarten in 2015. He already eagerly helps his older brother, a kindergartener, with his homework every day after school.

Just as her children have thrived in their classrooms, Shauna Lincoln has also blossomed, finding support and resources at Bright Beginnings. Currently working part-time, she uses our Parent Resource Center to study for her GED, seeks advice from our Employment Specialist, and participates in job training programs. She is aiming for a career in nursing or the hospitality industry. Ms. Lincoln is pleased with what she has learned, but nothing makes her prouder than seeing her children thriving and happy.

Pre-K Teacher Tara Perry

Pre-K teacher Tara Perry has been educating and empowering Bright Beginnings’ children for 15 years. Her dedication and enthusiasm for the job is essential to the success of this organization. Ms. Perry will represent Bright Beginnings this fall at the National Black Child Development Institute’s (NBCDI) 44th Annual Conference, “Bright Past, Better Future: Remember and Rise Up!” It is through conferences such as the NBCDI that we become an even stronger and better-equipped organization that stands ready and prepared to educate children in these challenging times. Thank you, Tara, for your commitment to Bright Beginnings

Parent Success Story: Ms. H

BBI Parent Ms. H (left) with BBI Head Start Social worker, Tamara Perez.

Ms. H's daughter Kayla, during a BBI Holiday event with Capitol Hill Police (December 2013)
Ms. H mother of daughters (Kimberly and Kayla), enrolled Kayla in Bright Beginnings in September 2013. Kayla was shy and reluctant to participate in classroom activities, but her teachers and BBI’s High Scope curriculum have helped her learn to express herself and to feel comfortable socializing with the other children. Reading is now one of Kayla’s favorite activities, and Ms. H is thrilled with the many positive changes she sees in Kayla.

Ms. H is also taking full advantage of the many services BBI offers and feels they have been a blessing for her family. She is studying Medical Terminology at UDC and hopes to become a medical office assistant. Several times a week she visits BBI’s Parent Resource Center where she works on her school assignments and draws on advice and support from BBI’s Employment Specialist, Camille McKenzie. She recently completed BBI’s CPR training course for parents, and that certification led to a volunteer position at a hospital. She is making great strides toward enhancing her resume, building confidence, and working toward a brighter future.

Although Kayla and Kimberly’s father works full time, his income does not provide all that a family of four needs in the DC area. Both parents are grateful for everything that BBI offers its families, from emergency access to essentials like diapers to many programs for parents and children that provide education, fun, and encouragement throughout the year.

Everyone at Bright Beginnings, from the Social Services Team to the teaching staff, cannot say enough positive things about Ms. H. While she often expresses her gratitude for Bright Beginnings, we are truly grateful for her positive, cheerful attitude and hard work. She truly exemplifies BBI’s mission and makes our work worthwhile.

Ms. Jeanty

Ms. Jeanty Ms. Jeanty and her 3 children have been actively enrolled with Bright Beginnings since 2011. She has completed classes at the BBI Parent Resource Center such as “School Readiness”, “Life Skills” and “Job Readiness”. Ms. Jeanty took advantage of BBI’s Workforce Week in the fall of 2013. She was very confident after hearing the success of other participant’s years prior. As a result of her dedication, she was hired at Bank of America. Ms. Jeanty’s attitude towards life and its challenges has improved tremendously over the years, from being a parent with many stressors, to now being more open, comfortable and serious about her future and the future of her children. As a result of her amazing strides with BBI, Ms. Jeanty wants to see other families succeed and take advantage. A few months after gaining employment, Ms. Jeanty officially completed her Bachelors in International Business and Accounting from Potomac College and looks forward to her graduation ceremony this spring! Ms. Jeanty is currently working with BBI’s Employment Specialist, Camille McKenize in our Parent Resource Center on preparing for a management position with the bank. She credits Bright Beginnings with giving her the opportunities, encouragement, and support that helped her achieve her goals.

Tamara Perez

On Friday, February 5th Bright Beginnings' very own Head Start Social Worker, Tamara Perez was honored by The Washington Wizards for her
dedication to helping the children and families of DC. Throughout the month of February, the Wizards and Amtrak are proud to honor the great
and countless contributions of African-Americans making a positive difference in their communities.

For the past 13 years, Tammy has dedicated her life's work to helping children and families in the District of Columbia "weather the storm". The heart of Tammy's professional experience is creating support
services for homeless families and their children. For Tammy, working with those who are homeless, especially small children, has been the most rewarding experience. All of us at Bright Beginnings are extremely proud of Tammy and the amazing work she does every day for our families. Watch here exclusive interview here.


My name is Loretta and my 3 year old and 4 year old have been here at Bright Beginnings for 3 years and benefitted from many of the services. My kids and I are better off because there’s a school like Bright Beginnings.

There’s the education program for my children, the therapeutic program that helps the kids deal with being homeless, and the socialworkers that have helped me get on sound footing too. I get upset really easily and they helped me address that.

Bright Beginnings is a great place for children and for me too. The comprehensive services really make a difference. I lived in a homeless shelter before I moved into transitional housing (where I am now) and a place like Bright Beginnings is really important for both parents and kids. My kids have a safe place to learn and everyone on staff is here to help them. I have learned a lot from the parenting classes and volunteering in my children’s classrooms. There is a lot I can learn about raising my children from the teachers and socialworkers. My children feel at home here and I do too. 

I’ve seen progress in my children’s behavior and their learning. I realized how effective the education program was when my 4 year old started calling out the alphabet one day on the bus. He did all the letters that were on the bus signs. I was really excited and everyone on the bus started clapping. Both my children have scored well on the assessment tests. With my 3 year old, I’ve noticed how much she likes to read. I’ve also seen a change in her leadership and sharing skills. She’s automatically bossy (which she gets from me), but she’s trying to be a leader when she tells the other kids what to do because she’s doing what she sees the teachers doing. 

Bright Beginnings has definitely made me a stronger parent. Bright Beginnings is the reason that I’m able to pursue my interest in computers. I just started a program that will help me earn all certifications I need to work in the computer field. I’m learning patience from the positive feedback I get from the teachers and socialworkers. I respond just like the kids when the teachers or the socialworkers compliment me on something I’m doing as a parent. 

Bright Beginnings is so different than other programs because of all the services you find here. I really do feel that the teachers and the socialworkers care about my children as much as I do. We work together so my kids and I can succeed. 


Takeah was six months old when she enrolled in Bright Beginnings’ infant care program. Her parents were trying to care for her and two older siblings but neither parent was living in permanent housing. Takeah’s mother wasn’t working and had substance abuse problems. She didn’t take very good care of Takeah, who was undernourished and frequently not bathed well. The social services team and her teachers worked with her parents to teach proper childcare and nutrition for each stage of Takeah’s development. Her parents’ relationship deteriorated, and Takeah’s father began caring for her. He openly welcomed the assistance and guidance of the teachers as he learned to provide her basic care. When Takeah began wearing clean clothing, eating nutritious meals and taking baths every day, the staff at Bright Beginnings watched her blossom. Her father has custody of the children and has moved into permanent housing.

Charles has been at Bright Beginnings less than a year. When he enrolled, his speech was unintelligible and he was diagnosed with cognitive delays, which were addressed by our onsite therapeutic and social services staff. Now, at age two-and-a-half, he speaks well and uses adjectives, describing school as "delicious" and "tasty." Charles loves all kinds of animals, particularly polar bears, tigers and alligators. He has a very good memory, especially for stories, and likes to tell a story out loud while looking at the pages of a picture book.

Mr. and Mrs. Marshall enrolled their daughter Shaniah at Bright Beginnings as an infant. Mr. Marshall was on probation, and the family was having difficulty staying together. With the help of Bright Beginnings social workers, the Marshalls received a year of intensive couples’ counseling. Mr. Marshall has now successfully completed probation and has a full-time job, while Mrs. Marshall is enrolled in college. Shaniah, now two-and-a-half years old, is a happy, healthy, typically-developing child, and both parents participate fully in the many parent activities at Bright Beginnings.

Jameel was two-and-a-half years old and not yet speaking when his mother enrolled him in Bright Beginnings. During his first day at the center, his teachers saw signs of autism, though this had not been diagnosed by his pediatrician. After an in-depth evaluation, Jameel began onsite occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and behavior therapy with therapeutic services specialists. Our therapeutic team also worked with Jameel’s mother to educate her about his disorder and his special needs, and worked with his pediatrician to help him better understand Jameel’s needs. Today, Jameel, who is four years old, is enrolled in an autism program where he is thriving. He is speaking in full sentences, engaging socially with other children and having fun playing and learning with his peers.

Micah was just two years old when he came to Bright Beginnings. He had almost no language, cried incessantly and had extreme separation anxiety from his mother. He clung to her or to his teachers, all of whom he called “Ma.” After a few months in class, he now greets his mother eagerly and calls his teachers by their names. Micah plays well with other children. His expressive language has increased, and he is potty trained. The dinosaur is Micah’s favorite animal, and he loves to sing! Because of our low teacher/child ratio, teachers are able to give every child the special attention they need.

Lola Carter
Lola Carter and her four young children’s lives were in shambles when they fled their home in another state to seek safety from domestic violence at a shelter in the District of Columbia . Ms. Carter had no money, no transportation and the children had just a few clothes. She had no records for her children -- no birth certificates, no social security numbers and no health or immunization records. The Bright Beginnings social services team stepped in immediately and very soon: all the necessary records for the children had been assembled; three children were enrolled at Bright Beginnings; all children had been assessed for disabilities or delays, and a plan was put in place for one child with disabilities; and her oldest child was attending elementary school. With all of her children in reliable child care, Ms. Carter was able to enroll in college full-time to study for her undergraduate degree in sociology.

The James Family
The James family, a married couple, found themselves living in a homeless shelter with their young son after working a series of jobs that did not pay a living wage or enable them to pay rent. The couple even considered divorce as a result of enormous anxiety and depression caused by their living situation, particularly because they felt they were failing their son. After enrolling their son at Bright Beginnings, both parents were able to locate new jobs. Once they found employment that paid a living wage and knew that their son was well cared for every day at Bright Beginnings, much of the stress was alleviated. Their son received free speech and language therapy onsite, which helped him to develop age appropriate skills. The James family moved into permanent housing eight months after enrolling at Bright Beginnings.