Kids Inc. making a difference in Big Bend

Kids Inc. volunteers at an event held in the Al Lawson center at Florida A&M.
Photo Submitted by Vanessa Lawrence

The importance of early learning is something Kids Incorporated of the Big Bend acknowledges and has been involved in for nearly 50 years.

Kids Inc. is a United Way member agency providing Early Head Start services to families at five locations in Tallahassee.

The organization focuses on low-income families whose members are trying to work and get an education while still being able to provide for their children. The organization provides Early Head Start services such as school readiness, curriculum, individualization, child assessment, family services, health, disability and nutrition services.

Kids Inc. has a sweeping mission. It wants all children and families to reach their full potential. The community engagement coordinator for Kids Inc., Matthew Vossler, says early child development is vital in seeing that vision manifest.

“Early education is absolutely the way that we change this world,” Vossler said.

Giving children the best opportunity possible while also giving their families the right tools to do so is the focus of this organization.

“Our children are not going to be successful unless their families are successful also. If we want to make substantial change for the next generation and build that generational knowledge, and truly become a better community we must get started on the right foot,” Vossler said.

The volunteers who help make the program possible are encouraged to be aware of the issues that are pressing in the community and how they can become vessels of change.

Being a vessel of change makes Florida State University student and community ambassador for Kids Inc. Jesmel Moreno extremely proud.

“Taking on the community ambassador position gives me the opportunity to connect with the Tallahassee community outside of FSU,” Moreno said.

The community ambassador program operates through the Center for Leadership and Social Change at FSU and connects student leaders on campus to local nonprofit, non-governmental organizations.

Moreno’s position as community ambassador has allowed her to evolve as leader. “A critical part of leadership that I think is overlooked in a lot of student leaders is the fact that leadership does not always have to be equated to a position, nor does it have to be equated to being a ring leader of anything,” Moreno said.

Being able to make a difference not only in her community, but also with the people around her means the world to Moreno. “To be in the position to educate and inform young people like myself, it means everything,” Moreno said.

Reaching the community does not happen overnight, but the more people know about it, the better the organization can serve our community. To become a volunteer with Kids Incorporated of Big Bend or find out more information, visit their website at