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Region Stories

These stories illustrate how early childhood programs and services funded by First Things First make a difference for young children and families in communities across Arizona.

Michelle Mix is the San Carlos Apache Tribe Champion

Michelle Mix

Minister Michelle Mix has been selected as the 2022 First Things First San Carlos Apache Region Champion for Young Children.

The award is given to local champions who actively volunteer their time to raise public awareness of the importance of early childhood development and health. Champions spend a significant amount of time volunteering with First Things First and building public awareness about the importance of early childhood issues. 

Mix, who is a teacher at St. Charles Apache Mission School in San Carlos, distributes books and parent information to the parents and caregivers of young children. She also created an early childhood corner at her church with family guides that provide information about programs early childhood programs available in community and other early childhood information so that families are aware of the importance of the early years and have access to other essential services.

We recently caught up with Mix.

QUESTION: Why did you choose to show your support for young children and families?  

ANSWER: I chose to show my support for young children because I have been inspired to make a difference in one child’s life by just sitting with him/her.  It only takes a few minutes to get to know a child’s wants and needs.  It is very important to be apart of a young child’s life because they are soaking in what they are taught each day.  Many lack teachable momenst at home, with family, or have a lack of schooling.  That is why I continue to support a young child’s life and make a difference for a lifetime.

QUESTION: Why do you think it’s important for people in your field/position in the community to be a champion of young children and families?

ANSWER: So many families on our reservation lack the understanding of the importance of making that teachable moment for their child in the home. I was always taught that learning and teaching starts from the home.  We have so many broken homes today which affect a child’s learning abilities.  I chose this field to teach because our children need growth and development the moment they enter this world.  There’s so much to be explored and many adventures to take a child on a journey of learning. This is what I see for my people today.

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