Our Stories

Lesvi makes case for Early Learning Center

“I was desperate for child care – reliable and good child care,” says Lesvi De La Cruz Barragan. “I wanted a good place for my kids.” Her family struggled with few quality choices. She found that many of the options she visited were too crowded. “Having the best quality and care for our children is critical,” she says. “For a parent, it’s really important to have that peace of mind.”

A graduate of Christel House DORS, the adult high school, Lesvi earned a degree in social services from Ivy Tech Community College. An Indianapolis Southside resident, she discovered Early Learning Indiana for her children. In taking a tour of the Early Learning Indiana center, she was impressed. “I didn’t think about it twice,” she says enthusiastically. “I need to get them in here now!” She enrolled her children in the IU Health Day Early Learning location as there were no options on the Southside near her home. “One of the things that really interested me was the education that the teachers have,” she says. “They are not just sitters. My kids are learning so much.” Like many concerned parents, she says child care options are a challenge. “Having someone else take care of your kid is hard. I want them to be in the best place. I can say that every morning when I drop them off, they are going to be well taken care of and I don’t have to worry about them until I pick them back up!”       

Lesvi wants to see a new Early Learning Center at Manual. Christel House Indianapolis and Early Learning Indiana have the opportunity to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty that persists on the Southside. A new Early Learning Center is an ambitious project that will require extensive renovation at the Manual campus to convert space for infants, toddlers, and pre-k students. Your support can make the difference. Make a gift by August 30 and United Way of Central Indiana will match up to $1 Million! “Our kids are our future,” concludes Lesvi. “This is a great program to invest in.” 

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