We often hear the testimonials of CEOGC’s Head Start program and what it does for the children who are a part of it but the program also has a profound impact on the parents. For Shayla Ivezzy, the impact left from her experience with our high-quality Head Start program has made a world of difference.

Miss Ivezzy’s son, Zion, spent two years at Louis Stokes Head Start Center where he thrived and saw drastic improvement in his reading and social skills. He’s since turned 5 and has moved on to kindergarten at the Inter-generational School, a charter school located in Shaker Heights, OH.

“My son is a such an intellectual kid,” said Shayla as she smiled ecstatically. “I love CEOGC and their mission. They’ve played a huge part in not only helping my son learn, but helping me grow as a mother.”

Ivezzy takes pride in being extremely active in her sons life. So much in fact that her persistence earned her Parent Volunteer of the Year honors by Louis Stokes Staff and Administration for the 2017-2018 school year. “I am a single mother so it’s up to me to play both the mom and father role,” said Ivezzy. “Last year, the center hosted the Father Walk and multiple fatherhood events and I showed up. It made me feel good that I was welcomed with open arms by all the staff; it’s important to me that Zion sees I’m active in his life.”

Ivezzy knows the impact left on a childhood without a father figure. She grew up in the rough neighborhoods on the East Side of Cleveland and has seen her father and three brothers be incarcerated. “I don’t have a strong support system; it’s just been my mom here for me,” she said.

Despite her tough upbringing, Ivezzy used her past to catapult her into a life of future success. She attended Spelman in Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in philosophy pre-law and graduated summa cum laude even after being forced to finish school as a single mother. “I had Zion after my junior year and instead of graduating a year late, I took 24 credits in one semester to finish on time.” Her persistence and work-ethic made her the first person from her entire family to go to and graduate from college.

After graduating, Ivezzy moved from Atlanta and returned to Cleveland where she began working for Reimer Law Firm in Solon, Ohio. She was working in her respective field of study but felt she wasn’t truly doing what she loved, so she left and began teaching for Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). “I’m most happy when I can work with kids, that’s my passion,” said Ivezzy. “I always wanted to be a teacher, but I’m really focused on helping kids with significant barriers in my city.”

Ivezzy spends the majority of her time mentoring kids. During the summer when she isn’t teaching, she works at the Cleveland Leadership Center, working on getting her non-profit off the ground and writing a book. “Career Closet: More than a Wardrobe is the name of my non-profit; it’s currently in the implementation stages right now, but I’m excited to get it off the ground,” said Ivezzy.

No matter what she does it seems this super-mom is well on her way to changing the City of Cleveland and beyond.

If you can relate to Miss Ivezzy’s love for a high-quality preschool program, there’s still a chance to enroll for this school year! Click Here to get the process started!