Alumni Profiles

Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation provides children with the educational, social, and emotional skills to thrive.  We are so proud of our alumni and share some impressive vignettes of their accomplishments.  We encourage alumni to keep in touch – let us know what you are doing!

Kirsy Rosario

Looking back to almost 18 years ago, I can remember my days as my educational journey began. The Cypress Hills Head Start program allowed for a preparation every child needs before entering school. This program allowed me to learn that I truly was not going to spend my whole life next to my mom. As a shy and quiet little girl, I was able to learn the importance of independence, self security, and the importance of relationship building. As a young child, these values were probably not what I thought of every day but they are truly valued today. This experience was one that helped prepare me to begin my elementary school education and continue up until this day. Today I am a junior student at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania. With the opportunity granted to me by a full academic scholarship, I am able to pursue a career in accounting with a minor in psychology.

Today I am able to help many other students in after school tutoring programs as an Education Outreach team leader and an elementary school and a high school. In these various programs I am able to share tips, encouragement, knowledge and personal advice I have learned throughout my life and pass them forward to others. The Cypress Hills Head Start program has brought many blessings to me and my family and holds a special place in my heart. Throughout this program, I was able to meet a wonderful teacher, mentor but most importantly a friend Ms. Norma Charcape has done more than teach me but helped me broaden my perspectives and travel internationally with my school to places like Peru.

Samuel Mateo Jr

The Head Start program really did as advertised; It gave me a head start in life! Because of this program, at a young age I was able to identify my hidden talents and learn to take those abilities and use them to better those around me. In fact, I have a picture of myself when I was first in the Head Start program dragging a crayon across a page, which brought my imagination to life. Several years later I attended the Art and Design High School pursuing my dreams and using my art to be to the world and now find myself in a second year at SUNY New Paltz, continuing to produce art. The Head Start program recognized my dreams and gave me the right tools to be able to chase them. This program really gave me a head start in life and greatly changed my life for the better.

Hector Agudelo

I participated in Head Start at the age of three in 2002 and I believe that this experience was essential in the beginning of creating the person I am today. I remember Head Start being an organization that values community engagement through nature talks and park citing. It also values the arts through musical learning lessons and instrument exposure. It also values constant communication among faculty, students, and peers. This experience allowed me to be extroverted at a young age which is a skill that is essential for my future endeavors. Today I am 20 years old and attend Baruch College and NYC studying finance, entrepreneurship and corporate communications. My growth since attending Headstart has been tremendous. Since then, I have experienced multiple internships in the finance world and even started a small manufacturing business in high school. Now I am preparing for a full time career in Wall Street while having leadership roles and various organizations that support Latino excellence. My education, career and family have always been a priority and I feel that those values are all components of the Head Start program.

Josue Nassar

My name is Josue Nisar and I am 24 years old. Currently, I am a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at Stony Brook University. My research focuses on learning more about the brain through statistics and machine learning. When I was younger, I attended the Cypress Hills child Care Center Head Start program. I made many friends. I still keep in touch with one of them. It had great experiences, and the program helped me realize my love for learning.

Katherine Mateo

My name is Katherine Mateo, and I am now in my senior year of high school. Although I am turning 18 soon, at the age of three I attended the Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation Head Start program. Luckily, I was placed in a class with an amazing woman who not only watched over myself and others my age, but fed us, helped us take naps, taught us our ABCs, colors, how to write our names, and truly cared for me. This is what Cypress Hills Child Care Center is all about, building a connection within a small community.

From Head Start I then enrolled in an elementary and middle school that is also in Cypress Hills and I continued to flourish. I learned to be fluent in both English and Spanish and within the Cypress Hills community I was taught to reach for the stars and never give up. I was taught that although I am part of a minority group being Hispanic, that was not something that should stop me. Almost 15 years later here I am applying to colleges such as Binghampton, NYU, Geneseo, with a 3.7 GPA. The Head Start program helped to create a strong foundation which has allowed me to make it to where I am right now.

Saoni Fortuna

If I could use one word to describe my experience with Head Start I would use the word “foundation,” along with a lot of love, care and attention. They gave me the basic fundamentals to be successful in my day-to-day life. This program gave me the push and the confidence at an early age in life to be who I am today. After attending Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation’s Head Start program, I attended the Cypress Hills Community School PS 89. Then I went to Art and Design High School. After I graduated from high school I attended Pratt University where I obtained an Associate Degree. Currently I am an employee at both Dune Studio and Industrial Superstudio.

Joselyn López Bonilla

15 years ago, a little girl named Jocelyn arrived at Ms. Caba’s classroom and the Head Start program run by the Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation. At the time, no one knew this child would turn into a star, but she did. Over the years Joselyn’s teachers recognized both her intelligence and her dedication. After finishing elementary school she attended the High School for Public Services Heroes for Tomorrow, graduating this year as Valedictorian and a member of the National Honor Society.

In addition to her academic achievements, while attending high school, Jocelyn worked as a tutor in the Groundwork for Success Program, interned at the Museum of Art and Design, and when she had some time left over she would volunteer in our agency. The summer after graduation, she worked at radio station WQXR, the classical music station. If this were all she would be considered a success, but this is just the beginning. Joselyn’s dreams are much more ambitious. She took the time and effort to apply to a number of first tier colleges, conscious that she was not only requesting admission but also a full scholarship, including room and board. Due to her incredible tenacity, she attained her goal and was granted a full four year scholarship worth over $300,000 to attend Dartmouth College, an Ivy League institution where starting this fall she’ll be studying biomedical engineering.

Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation celebrates Joselyn’s achievements that have made her a star in the community. We also recognize that in order for this star to reach her objectives, she has depended on the inspiration, support and encouragement of her dear mother, Veronica. Her mom is truly the wind beneath her wings.