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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.

Mark Becker is Yuma’s 2018 Champion for Young Children

Mark Becker

Mark Becker has been selected as the 2018 Yuma First Things First 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 FTF and building public awareness about the importance of early childhood issues.

Becker engaged in awareness-raising efforts such as:

  • supporting and engaging the faith-based Yuma region by sharing the importance of early childhood and promoting FTF as a trusted early childhood source. He was part of the effort to recruit churches to be part of the Care Portal in the Yuma region. This program will benefit young children in the foster care system by helping to meet their needs through the collaboration of local churches and families in crisis.
  • presenting about the importance of early childhood at a local chamber event.
  • forming a local early childhood committee to determine the needs of professional development in Yuma County. His committee started the relationship with a local Yuma high school district to start the Early Childhood to College/Career pipeline.

We recently caught up with Becker, who is the Associate Director of Arizona PBS Educational Outreach.

Question: Why do you feel early childhood development and health is so important?

Answer: Early childhood development and health is a major component in the foundation of a child. If any part of the foundation is lacking, it becomes that much more difficult during the life of the child.

Question: How do you suggest other people in your community get involved?

Answer: This may sound simple, but I would say, “Just do something.” Too many people shy away from helping because they don’t know where to begin or how to begin. Just do something!

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