Congrats to our 2016 Project BEST Grads

We are so proud to celebrate Project BEST graduates! On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, the Brictha and Child & Family Resources cohorts gathered for a small ceremony to showcase their student projects and honor a year of hard work.

At Project BEST, students who are already working in the child care profession spend a year doing college-level coursework, and individualized coaching. They are going above and beyond to learn more about how to meet the fundamental needs of infants and toddlers in group care settings through six essential program policies: primary care; small groups; continuity of care; individualized schedules and routines; inclusion; and cultural sensitivity and responsiveness. 

The ceremony included Speakers Naomi Karp, Great Expectations for Teachers, Children, Families and Communities as well as Keynote speaker, Judy Jablon, Author & National Speaker.

Here are our 2016 Graduates:

Brictha Cohort

  • Bina Alam
  • Rita Alegria
  • Jamie Caruth
  • Lucy Mendez
  • Mireya Santibanez

Child & Family Resources Cohort

  • Ana Luisa Arvizu
  • Kimberly Carlson
  • Francisca “Liz” Casanova
  • Gloria de los Rios
  • Cassandra Fernandez
  • Patricia Grogan
  • Cindy Miller
  • Paula Lopez
  • Margot Sandoval
  • Maria Valenzuela

We would like to thank Naomi Karp and Heidi Elizondo from United Way for continuing to believe in the changes that Project BEST is creating in the early childhood community; Judy Jablon for take time to speak to our graduates; Amber Jones, Early Education Consultant, for her work on the grant this year; Tiffany Simon for being overall amazing, and particularly helpful on graduation day; and Diane Fellows and Connie Espinoza for their continued support of Project BEST.

Congratulations to our 2015 MCAP Graduates

On Thursday, September 17th, 2015 a group of young mothers proudly moved the tassels on their graduation caps, marking a huge milestone on their lives: earning GEDs! In 2015, 15 young women passed their GEDs after working with us at Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents. While not all of the graduates were able to attend the ceremony, the intimate event was a special occasion, full of flowers, tears of joy, cake, and pride. 

Open to young mothers ages 16-21,  MCAP is a comprehensive program providing GED preparation, Parenting Education, and Life Skills program. While students earn their degrees and plan for your future success, MCAP provides free, on-site child care in our licensed, nationally accredited childcare center.

MCAP is the reason many these moms can earn the education they deserve. As one participant put it: "Not many of us have the income or resources to go to an ordinary GED prep class and pay for it. The fact that we’re given free classes and free child care on-site makes me forever grateful. It gives us more of a chance at becoming something great in life. Without free classes and free child care, we would probably be the typical teen mom statistic who is a high school dropout with no job. What MCAP provides makes us want to make everyone proud. It also motivates us to become successful for our children."

Congratulations to the young women who worked so hard this year to graduate! Anna, Jennifer, Gabriella, Melissa, Shavon, Desirae, Naomi, Jennifer, Madison, Shannon, Maria, Marisol, Michelle, Grace, and Olivia!

Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents is made possible by the generous support of: Arizona Child Abuse Prevention License Plate FundFirst Things First Quality First Child Care Scholarships, Helena Harvey Endowment, Maine Foundation, Rio Salado CollegeThunderbirds CharitiesTJX FoundationValley Anesthesiology Foundation, and WalMart. We would like to thank our generous sponsors who helped make it a special day for our graduates: Wal-Mart - Richard Mart and Phil Barber; Fry’s - Alan King, Dennis Nathan, David Lee, and Charles Shepard; and Safeway - Rick Albers and Marcia Beck.