Life is full of surprises. At 71 years old, Linda Rust did not think she would be raising her five-year old great-granddaughter. But, she believes the little girl, Adlee, is fulfilling Linda’s purpose in life. As she says, “You hear that all of us are put here for a reason. I believe Adlee was my particular reason. She’s a blessing.”
In November 2013, Linda got a call from her grandson asking her to come pick up Adlee because he had been arrested for shoplifting. Linda found out later that her grandson and his wife were battling substance abuse. For the next few years, Adlee bounced from place to place and in and out of foster care.
Linda wanted to take Adlee from the start, but she had to convince the courts that her age was not a hindrance. It was a long ordeal, but Linda eventually won legal custody of Adlee.
Once in Linda’s care, Adlee began preschool. However, she was emotionally stunted and not used to being around other kids. Linda thought the school lacked the structure Adlee needed. Luckily, Linda read about Brightpoint in the paper and enrolled Adlee in head Start in 2016.
Adlee is smart and Linda didn’t think she could challenge her the way that she needed to be challenge. Head Start has been able to do that and has prepared Adlee for kindergarten. Linda proudly says, “To get into kindergarten, they only have to count from one to ten; she counts to one hundred.”
In addition to having Adlee in a free, high-quality preschool, Linda’s family advocate connected her to other resources. For example, Linda receives energy assistance, which she says really makes a difference. Linda appreciates everything Brightpoint has done for her and Adlee. She says she does not know what she would have done without Brightpoint Head Start, “This program was a saving grace for me and Adlee – it really was.”