Khaleel Desaque fulfilled a special promise on October 29 in Shippensburg University’s Old Main Chapel. About ten years ago, he promised his grandmother that he’d earn his doctorate, and this fall, he defended his dissertation for a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. “My grandmother aspired to be a teacher and was denied the ability,” he said. “It was my calling and her dream.”
The Head Start program is designed for young, at-risk children, but its impact extends beyond child development. Fifty years ago, Head Start was envisioned as a federally funded pre-school program that would break the cycle of poverty. According to the Head Start website, upwards of 33 million vulnerable children, ranging from ages birth to five, have benefitted from its comprehensive services since then. However, a visit to Shippensburg Head Start adjacent to campus quickly illustrates that the benefits of the program have a far wider reach than just those children enrolled.
Few teenagers can brag that they have encountered sharks, stingrays, and an array of other sea life as certified scuba divers.
Dr. Chris Schwilk, associate professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Special Education, made this opportunity possible for teenagers with special needs earlier this year.