This is a picture of me at my Head Start graduation. I still have my Head Start diploma, a little scroll. What I remember is just being excited and happy about getting on that small school bus and going to school - I thought of it as school.
My mother and father were working people. My father worked in a belt factory at one point. Their education didn't go past 8th grade. We lived in South Providence, and they figured out where the Head Start program was, which was half-way across town. My mom didn't understand exactly why people reacted the way they did when I got into Harvard.
When I was at Harvard, I found out my roommate from Poughkeepsie also attended Head Start. We always joked, "There must be something about that program...!"
Today, only a third of eligible kids in Providence are enrolled in Head Start. As Mayor I want to increase that percentage. One-third is good but it's not good enough for me. I want to make our educational system a positive example for the country. I believe to whom much is given, much is called for. It's a big responsibility.