Head Start worker tops in the state

archive_import

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

Stephenie Giustos work as a family advocate for Calaveras Head Start was recognized last month when she received the statewide Head Start Support Staff of the Year award.

A shy mother of seven with swaying shoulder-length red hair found herself on stage in San Diego at the California Head Start State Conference with Yolanda King, oldest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

She was very elegant and you could tell she spoke from the heart when she talked about the importance of children. She gave a speech before handing out the awards, Giusto said. Shes my age (46) and quite tall. When she gave me my award she gave me a hug. I said, thank you. It was the greatest thing Ive ever experienced.

Giustos association with Calaveras Head Start began in 1996 when she enrolled her youngest son in the Jenny Lind Head Start program.

It was hard to understand him when he was speaking and a friend recommended Head Start to help with language development and other social skills, she said.

A Head Start speech therapist worked with the boy and Giusto saw progress.

Giusto was studying fine art at Delta College when a friend encouraged her to apply for a job as a family advocate with Head Start three years ago.

Today she serves about 52 families in the San Andreas area, helping them build on their strengths and find help for their weaknesses. With each of her families, she develops a plan to meet family goals, whether that is more education, a better job or simply the ability to put more food on the dinner table.

Giusto said some families are self sufficient, while others need things as basic as food or housing. And she, through Head Start, helps them find the resources they need to improve their lives.

Her supervisor, Sheila Neal, nominated Giusto for the statewide award.

Four other awards were also given by Yolanda King during the Jan. 19 conference in San Diego.

11699509
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday February 26, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
McClintock town hall draws large, divided crowd

02/22/2017

There was patriotic singing, chanting and sign waving inside the packed 569-seat ... more

Diverse views outside McClintock Town Hall

02/22/2017

They came with signs and flags and at least one mask, expressing ... more

County appoints working group on marijuana regulations

02/22/2017

What do two county supervisors, a former California Highway Patrol commander, a ... more

Weather takes a swipe at Groveland business

02/23/2017

Recent road damage, rockfall, slides and Merced River flooding in January have ... more

McClintock supporters, protesters call for peaceful event

02/20/2017

With people speculating about what could become the largest protest Sonora has ... more