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Head Start Alumni Spotlight: Zach Riggins

Parent involvement has always been a characteristic of Head Start programs. Head Start parents and families have numerous opportunities to participate in their children’s education.

Becoming a parent volunteer is how Angela Riggins, now a Step Forward Head Start teacher, and her children, began their Head Start journey.

Riggins, who has been with Step Forward Head Start for almost 30 years, has seen how crucial investing in early education is for children.

"The difference that we make is so important to set the foundation at this age,” she explained.

All of Riggins’ older children attended Head Start. When it was time to enroll her youngest child, Zach, Riggins felt it was a no-brainer.

“I saw how it benefitted his brothers, so I wanted him to have that same opportunity,” she said.

Today, Zach attends Case Western Reserve University. But he has already earned two associate degrees while in high school. During his sophomore year of high school, Zach completed his high school credits early and began attending classes at Cuyahoga County Community College. In Spring 2022, Zach graduated summa cum laude with an associate of arts and an associate of science. He graduated high school as valedictorian.

“It was very busy,” Zach recalled.

Zach attributes his success to the support of his family mentor and teachers. He also mentioned how having a mom, who is a teacher, helped him realize how important education is.


Learn more about enrolling your child in Head Start here.

Step Forward Head Start is hiring! The agency is offering a sign-on bonus of $1,000 for full time employees and $500 for part-time employees.

Positions include teachers, family service workers, nutrition aides and more. Step Forward Head Start is looking for education staff passionate about preparing young students for the future and helping them develop a love for learning early. Take a step toward a new fulfilling career today! Learn more and apply to open positions here.

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