Twenty-six years ago, Elizabeth “Betty” Dowdy heard of an opportunity to help her church expand its urban missions program and applied for a grant to open a Head Start Learning Tree program at the Ninth Presbyterian Church.

And Dowdy says it was badly needed:

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“Head Start, for the low-income families, actually involved them in the process of advocacy for their child and to enhance their ability to become self-sufficient.”

Today, HSLT serves hundreds of children and families in South, West, and Southwest Philadelphia.

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“Sometimes I’m positively elated when I think about the prospect of touching 800 lives a year.”

Story by KYW’s Karin Phillips

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