For Gaby Modica, Head Start is everything — a vital part of her world.
And the reason for that is not just because Gaby works as a Secretary for SMILE’s Head Start/Early Head Start.
Instead, it is because her young daughter has excelled tremendously after being enrolled in the SMILE program. Gaby has watched her child transform from hardly speaking a word to now sharing her day’s adventures.
“She has developed so, so much,” Gaby says.
And that has made all the difference for the young mother.
“I feel so good because she’s able to talk and tell me so many things,” Gaby says. “If she wasn’t in Head Start, I don’t think she would be talking.”
According to Gaby, her child being bilingual may have compounded her speech therapy problems. But now Gaby delights in watching her child — the love of her life — improve daily.
What people may not know about Gaby, who was born in Argentina and grew up in Kentucky, is that horses were the reason that Louisiana became her new home.
Moving to the bayou state became reality when her father, a former horse jockey, received a job offer to work as a trainer at Evangeline Downs.
But while in Kentucky, Gaby worked for a community action agency. Therefore, she was familiar with community action when she was hired at SMILE, and its commitment to helping people help themselves.
While her child is her pride and joy, and she builds her schedule around her, Gaby admits that it is hard being a single mother. It’s a daily commitment, but one she doesn’t mind making because she wants the best for her daughter.
And she hopes other single mothers want the same.
“They cannot give up,” she says. “They have a child. They have to keep fighting. If you give up, where will your child be?”