BCFS Education Services promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children by providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to the whole family. None of that would be possible without the dynamic efforts everyday from our team Family Support Specialists.
One recent addition to our BCFS Education Services — Head Start team, Kevin Howell, has been making an impact with countless families in Comal County, Texas. Kevin’s unwavering desire to help students and their families comes from a lifetime of experiences that shaped him into the incredible person he is today.
Growing up in and out of children’s homes himself, he has an intimate understanding of the challenges students with unstable home lives may be going through. After two years in a children’s home, Kevin was fortunate enough to live with a member of his high school’s booster club–providing him stability and an inspiration to create lasting impressions of his own.
“I realized early on I was succeeding because I had been blessed to be in different positions,” Kevin explains. “It taught me different strands of parenting–things I would take or wouldn’t use from what I experienced…The people I lived with were pillars of my own upbringing, and I wanted to provide that to children going through similar experiences.”
Upon graduating high school, Kevin served his country in the military for four years. After completing his duties, he strived to contribute to the “it takes a village” mentality he held so dear to his own life. In the ensuing years, he would hone his skills across Texas school districts, spending three years as a teacher, and an additional three as an assistant principal.
Since joining BCFS Education Services in July, Kevin has taken a generalist approach helping wherever possible as he grows into his role. Working with five different classrooms and multiple families per week, Kevin finds himself assisting in everything from helping a student solve a puzzle to showing families how they can slightly augment an activity to become a learning moment for their children.
These aren’t just tips Kevin imparts on others. From day one, BCFS Education Services gave him ideas that helped enhance the educational opportunities at his own home. Along with his wife, Nikki, the Howells implement Head Start teaching with their three children: Austin (13), Emma (9) and Kenzie (5).
Furthering Kevin’s “it takes a village” approach, he is quick to credit his fellow BCFS Education Services team members for making his new role fulfilling and enjoyable. These people include Jennifer Torres and Megan Bilbrey, who helped from day one. Additionally, he credits Sonia Zigmond for doing, “a great job sharing the BCFS vision and how our family specialist roles tie-in with relationships to the family, and most importantly, the children.” One significant moment for Kevin came when he attended a town hall led by BCFS President Kevin Dinnin. “Just to see the spectrum that BCFS helps internationally–all the different facets–was eye-opening.”
As he continues with BCFS Education Services, Kevin strives to continue the program’s vision to ready and bring out the best in every family. Relying on advice he received years ago, Kevin knows that, “Confidence is born through repeated repetitions that are successfully completed. A child’s confidence is built through repetition after they’ve struggled…which lays a foundation for them to succeed later on.”