Nicole Gonzales of Walla Walla was recently named parent ambassador for the Washington State Association of Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Programs.
Gonzales is one of 22 parents selected statewide, with only three from Eastern Washington.
Gonzales will represent Southeastern Washington regarding early learning and learning advocacy skills. She is the first parent ambassador representing the Walla Walla program in many years, according to Kerri Coffman, district director of preschool programs.
"This is an honor to have one of our parents chosen to join the ambassador team," Coffman said. "I am excited to watch Nicole grow in her leadership skills and feel she will become a voice in our community for early learning."
The Parent Ambassador Program educates representatives on the legislative process and offers training on educating, organizing and mobilizing other parents. Ambassadors learn to advocate for themselves and their community, and serve as a liaison between local programs, WSA, and the larger early learning community.
Responsibilities include being available to participate in two conference calls a month, attend four face-to-face trainings put together by WSA, and a commitment to provide "teach backs" at their policy council meetings or other parent meetings.
In addition, each parent ambassador is expected to participate in the legislative process by advocating for ECEAP and Head Start at the state and federal levels.