(Image courtesy Jacquie Spector)
Jayd Rodrigues, the lead teacher of toddlers at Horizons for Homeless Children’s Roxbury-based Edgerley Family Community Children’s Center, was recognized for her five-years of dedicated work.
Rodrigues was presented with the 2012 Sue Heilman Award for Excellence at the nonprofit's 16th Annual Recognition and Awards Dinner.
“At the Recognition and Awards Dinner each year, we take the opportunity to let our volunteers, partners and staff know how critical their support is to the children and families we serve,” said Åsa Fanelli, president and CEO of at Horizons for Homeless Children in a statement.
According to Horizons for Homeless Children, Rodriques has a deep commitment to the children she serves, learning sign language, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole to help her better connect with her students.
“I was extremely surprised by it,” said Rodriques, who hails from Dorchester. “I had a different idea of what homelessness looked like. They are just common people. They could be you or me.”
The hours may be long and the work hard but Rodriques said she enjoys every moment of it and the recent award will make her work even harder.
“Being here for five-years you can lose sight but this award definitely rekindled my passion and I am here for all of the families,” said Rodriques.
Founded in 1988, Horizons for Homeless Children, according to the group, has created approximately 150 educational and recreational spaces in family shelters throughout the state.
In Boston Horizons has three Community Children's Centers that provide childcare and early education to 175 homeless children.