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Fresno EOC Board Commissioner wants parents to know “Fresno EOC can help you”

Zina Brown-Jenkins was first introduced to Fresno EOC Head Start 32 years ago when a staff member knocked on her door and handed her a flyer for the program. Now she is a Fresno EOC Board Commissioner on the Head Start County-Wide Policy Council and serves as an advocate for parents throughout the agency.

“Head Start was the perfect opportunity,” Brown-Jenkins said. “I was a college student and I wanted to find a safe place for my son.”

After she enrolled her son in Head Start, Brown-Jenkins continued to see the program’s involvement with parents and her community grow. She returned to Head Start years later when a death in the family made her the primary caretaker of her six grandchildren.

“It’s one-on-one with the Fresno EOC Head Start program,” Brown-Jenkins said. “They helped me figure out where to go. Fresno EOC plans for the individualized success of the child.“

Three of Brown-Jenkins’ grandchildren have special needs, but with the help of Head Start Mental Health Services staff they were able to assess each child and refer her to additional resources.

“If I was a grandparent that quit, that would be difficult,” Brown-Jenkins said. “People need to realize they need to speak out and look out there for help. As a Fresno EOC Commissioner, I represent our parents.”

Brown-Jenkins’ passion for advocacy spurs from her experience in corrections, education, and her time working with at-risk with families. As an involved parent and board commissioner she mentions Local Child Care and Development Meetings (LPCs), Head Start parenting classes, and a conference with the National Head Start Association as some of her most memorable moments with Fresno EOC Head Start.

Through her own Head Start story she encourages parents to get involved in the lives of their children. Now Brown-Jenkins reflects back on those she’s met through the program and her journey since Head Start staff knocked on her door.

“The agency has grown leaps and bounds,” Brown-Jenkins said. “I tell my friends and family that don’t know what to do call Fresno EOC. I’m very grateful, the people I come in contact with, I consider them my friends.”

Zina Brown-Jenkins has been a Fresno EOC Board Commissioner since 2019 and is a proud supporter of Head Start.

“I want parents to know they have a voice for their child,” Brown-Jenkins said. “This position allows me to be the extra voice. We can come together to discuss concerns and what’s going on in our community.”

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