Pathways, a new family tradition

Last year, Magdalena was sitting in the “pick-up line” at Pathways Early Education Center waiting to get her son Milan from the VPK program when her younger son Kaleb had a seizure. “Terrified doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word for what I felt. I had never experienced anything like that with my other children. I had no idea what to do. I just started screaming for help. Miss Michelle heard me and ran over,” Magdalena recalls.

Michelle, Pathways Center Director, immediately took action. As a result of her training and both women’s quick response that day, the seizure caused Kaleb no permanent damage. “I can’t think about what would have happened if we’d been somewhere else in that moment,” remarks Magdalena. “That was the day Pathways became so much more than Milan’s school to me. It became somewhere I knew I could fully trust to teach and care for my children. She soon enrolled Kaleb in program.”

Despite her and her husband working full-time, resources were very tight for their family of five. Enrolling another child in an early learning program would be more challenging. “My husband and I have always valued education and we try to pass that love of learning on to our children. We just said, ‘we’ll find a way to make it work.’” They worked with RCMA and the Pathways staff to get Kaleb a partial scholarship, and Kaleb was able to enroll that year.

It was later discovered that Kaleb would need special therapies in addition to standard class time. When other facilities were not allowing outside services due to the COVID pandemic, the Pathways staff went above and beyond to ensure Kaleb had safe access to the therapy he needed. Through research-based, comprehensive care and education, they helped put Kaleb on a path of emotional, academic and social success.

Today, Kaleb is thriving in our Orange Fish Classroom. At two years old, he is already spelling. His older brother Milan has graduated from Pathways and is now in Kindergarten. According to reports Magdalena receives from his teachers, he exceeds standards in all assessment areas and is one of the “top performing students” in his class.

That’s the amazing power of high-quality early learning care and experiences. Milan and Kaleb have a solid educational foundation for success in kindergarten and in life thanks to Pathways and the generous individuals and partners that support its vital programs.

This story was featured in our 2022 Impact Report. Click here to read the full report.

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About Pathways

For 58 years, Pathways Early Education Center has championed quality early learning and care programs so that children in Immokalee have an equitable opportunity to thrive.

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