Our story is as much about our members as it is about us.
Debra Flood joins the Continued family from Illinois, where she works for Head Start/Early Head Start as a family engagement specialist.
Flood holds a Master of Arts in Education and a Family Engagement Credential, and she earns professional development from Continued Early Childhood Education.
“My passion for this work comes from my personal experiences, and there is no feeling like helping someone achieve their personal and/or educational goals.”
What do you like most about what you do?
I love helping others and seeing them achieve their goals.
As a family engagement specialist for Head Start/Early Head Start, I work with parents of children who are enrolled in our programs and assist them with finding their strengths. I appreciate the opportunity to partner with parents to help them achieve the goals they set for themselves or their child.
What drew you to early childhood education, and what makes you so passionate about the field?
What drew me to early childhood education was the social services part of the field. I previously worked with a program called A Hand Up Inc. as a social services coordinator. My job was to help low-income families with their outstanding utility bills. The program allowed clients to work in non-profit agencies or enroll in GED classes, and those hours were used to pay the client's utility bills in full. I was hooked on that feeling of service to others. Unfortunately, this was a grant-funded program, and when the grant was not approved for another year, I found myself out of work and needing a job.
I knew I wanted to continue working with low-income families. My passion for this work comes from my personal experiences, and there is no feeling like helping someone achieve their personal and/or educational goals. I applied for a position as a community worker at the local Head Start program because it had that social services component. It (just so) happened to be the program my two children had attended when they were four years old. I got the job—17 years ago and counting. The extra bonus: While I am not a teacher, I get to see the children and watch their growth.
How has the pandemic impacted your job?
I am working remotely three days a week and the children enrolled in Head Start are learning remotely. I no longer see parents in person, but I keep in touch with them via text, phone, and emails.
What value does online learning hold for you?
During the pandemic, online learning has been a godsend. It is truly a blessing to be able to complete my training and certifications while working from home. I also received my master’s degree through an online university.
Thank you, Debra Flood, for being a part of our Continued story.
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