“Why do you keep going down this same path? Maybe success is not for you.” LaQueisha Brown said she remembered thinking these things in 2012 when she signed up for the Early Head Start program with her son Emmanuel.
At the time, she was a teacher assistant in the Brightpoint Head Start program. Her supervisor remembered how good she was with the children, but LaQueisha didn’t have a lot of confidence in herself. Early Head Start helped her to appreciate the skills that she had as a parent – some of the same things that made her good in the classroom.
She began to see how she could be Emmanuel’s first teacher and be something more to her other children, too. “I had kind of stepped away from them because I was depressed having another child and being a single mom.” Now she says that if it hadn’t been for having her son, she wouldn’t be where she is today.
As her confidence grew, she began to imagine more for herself and it became clear what she wanted. She wasn’t sure exactly how she was going to do it, but she was determined to go to culinary school. She had always wanted to cook and grew up in the kitchen around her mom and her grandmother.
She commuted to the Arts Institute of Indianapolis, traveling four days a week, to get her education. She graduated with honors while working full-time and caring for her three children.
“It was a struggle at times, but I persevered through and I made it,” she said proudly. She credits her children for giving her the strength to keep going because she wanted to be an inspiration to them to follow their dreams.
In 2016, with Emmanuel now enrolled in Head Start, LaQueisha was working as a nutrition services supervisor at a local hospital. And she began realizing her dreams by opening her own business – Pure and Divine Catering LLC – with coaching and a business loan from the Brightpoint Development Fund.
LaQueisha beamed while talking about how far she has come and how she feels about her life now. “Brightpoint has been a big part of my success.”