KCSL would like to spotlight Cecilia Alonso, a member of our Board of Directors and KCSL parent volunteer. Our amazing volunteers help us enhance our efforts to protect and promote the well-being of children. Learn more about Cecilia below.
Volunteer Spotlight Questionnaire:
Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and professional.
I have three wonderful children ages 10, four and one as well as a wonderful husband who supports me to the fullest. We also have two dogs who are like kids to us. Our family is always busy with soccer. The kids always have practices or games, and my husband coaches youth soccer and plays in an adult league. Professionally, I am a sterile processing tech at Southwest Medical Center finishing my last prerequisites for surgical tech. I am very family-oriented and love spending time with my extended family. I also enjoy being involved with my kids’ education and believe it is important to help build their long-term success.
How did you become connected to KCSL?
I first became connected with KCSL’s Head Start program when my oldest son was born in 2012. I was encouraged to apply for the Early Head Start program. I was 16 at the time and had no clue how to be a mom or what to do to support my son with his development. We started by receiving home-based services and loved our weekly home visits. Our home visitor was flexible with my schedule as a full-time student also working after school. Our home visitor provided so much support not only for my son but also for me personally. Our home visitor listened and always checked in on our needs, even checking in between visits.
What motivated you to serve on KCSL’s Policy Council?
I was motivated to join KCSL’s Head Start Policy Council because I wanted to be more involved with my kids’ education and wanted to have a more in-depth view of the program and services available in Southwest Kansas.
Why was serving as Policy Council Chair important to you?
Serving as Head Start Policy Council Chair was, and still is, important to me. I like connecting with the other parents. I want parents to feel comfortable enough to talk to me as a parent. I like knowing that if parents want to address something or have that I can bring it up at the Policy Council meetings. Policy Council meets regularly to address any changes or concerns and allows parents to share ideas or recommend changes. I like connecting with parents to encourage them to be more involved. I often highlight the reasons why parent involvement is so important for their child and their family. I regularly invite families to attend parent meetings and game nights, complete and return skill-builder activities assigned by staff and more! I want to be involved, make a difference and support parents, children and staff in any way possible.
What is your hope for the future of KCSL Head Start in southwest Kansas?
My hope is for the program to keep expanding and offering the programs to more families as well for more families to get involved with the program so that KCSL can continue offering it.
Why would you encourage other parents to get involved?
I would encourage other parents to get involved because they’re shaping the future of our children. Their futures can’t be shaped if we aren’t trying to provide the support to shape it.