When Nasrin first came to the United States from Bangladesh, she struggled to adjust to the unfamiliar language and customs. Life at home was stressful, too. She felt that her husband dominated her, and she was unsure how to address her son’s aggressive behavior or her daughter’s shyness. In her neighborhood in Woodside, Queens, Nasrin had often passed by The Child Center’s Head Start program, and she decided to enroll her son, Haseen.
At the family orientation for the program, Nasrin heard about services to help families facing domestic violence and emotional abuse. She took advantage of every opportunity. With the help of a case worker and counselor from The Child Center, she improved her parenting skills and gained confidence.
Now Haseen, age 5, has become much calmer and more well-adjusted. He no longer fights with other kids, hits his mother, or runs into the street. Zarin, Nasrin’s three year old, recently enrolled at Head Start and has started opening up and becoming more independent.
As for Nasrin, the extended day at Head Start gives her the opportunity to go to college. She is working on her language skills and her degree so that she can get a job. She no longer feels she has to accept her life as it is.
“I can change myself, and I can change the whole family dynamic,” she says. “I want to show my children that everything is possible in life. I will be the example of that.”