U.S. Senator visits campus child development center


Symiah Dorsey/The Lion's Roar

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy cuts the ceremonial ribbon alongside administrators of the Regina Coeli Child Development Center and other contributors of the new building.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy visited campus this morning to join in the grand opening of the new Southeastern Head Start & Early Head Start building.

Part of the Regina Coeli Child Development Center, Southeastern Head Start is a program dedicated to providing quality education and care services for local youth. After receiving approval for a $1 million grant in 2019, the program began to collaborate with the senator’s office to aid the next generation of future leaders.

The Louisiana senator cut the ceremonial ribbon and toured the new facility on May 5, pledging to continue providing the assistance needed to fulfill the program’s mission.

“This new building enables this program, which is a well-run program that follows the course of a child. I’m a doctor, so I like to know that if we intervene, it makes a difference. That’s the wonderful thing about their partnership with Southeastern— they know for sure they’re making a difference,” Cassidy said.

Dr. Susan Spring, executive director of RCCDC, has been with the center since the opening of the original Head Start building in 1998. 

She reflected on her experience as an administrator and said she looks forward to the future of Head Start.

“We’re serving the children who are the most important part of our country and our lives, and we make a difference and help them get started on their life, their learning and their love of education. Head Start changes lives, including mine,” Spring said.

Center manager Brenda Laurent, who provided tours of the building, said the new resources will allow the center to serve more children in need.

“I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to continue to serve the children of this areathe most at-risk childrenand I’m just so happy that Sen. Cassidy came in to help us to do that and open it up,” Laurent said.

Cassidy concluded with the sentiment that an investment in today’s youth is an investment into the future of the country.

He said, “I’m old enough to know that that child might be the doctor that operates on my grandchild one day. They are our future. The potential that lies within a child is the potential that can change the world. I am all about them discovering their potential. If it’s for them, it is for us all.”