Spring/Summer 2018 Newsletter – Participant Profile


Participant Profile: Meet Venus.

“From the first day I walked into one of Union Settlement’s centers, I felt such warmth and belonging from the teachers and staff,” says Venus, whose daughter Olivia currently attends Union Carver Early Childhood Education Center.

Venus, who was born and raised in East Harlem, did not finish high school. When she became a parent for the first time, she did not know where to go for her son’s early childhood education. Her family told her to come to Union Settlement and she is so happy that she did!

“First my son went to Union Settlement and now my daughter is there,” Venus said. Her son, who is now 18, will graduate from high school next year.

“Olivia loves school so much, she doesn’t want to leave at the end of the day. They’ve taught her to be respectful, polite and helpful. They encourage the children each day to find ways to help their teacher and their classmates.”

Venus also became very involved with Union Settlement as a volunteer. She began volunteering at Union Carver in the classroom and in the office, and at one point was volunteering more than 30 hours a week. This helped her rediscover her passion for teaching and caring for children. She has observed firsthand the dedication and attentiveness of the teachers.

“I love the teachers at Union Settlement,” says Venus. “They’re awesome. They don’t allow any child to go unnoticed. They take the time to help. If they see that a child is falling behind in any way, they don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the parent to discuss ways to help the child progress.”

As president of the PTA for her daughter’s class, Venus has met many other parents in the community and noted that some families require additional help beyond early childhood services. She has learned about the other services Union Settlement can provide, such as career readiness.

“Without Union Settlement, my daughter would not have grown so quickly in her confidence, social or cognitive skills. I’m excited to see what’s next for her!”