Director of Early Head Start
Aissa Zapata is Director, Early Head Start, for Youth Policy Institute. The Early Head Start program provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families. The focus of the program is on Education, Health, Nutrition, Mental Health, Disabilities and Parent, Family & Community Engagement. These principles are designed to nurture healthy attachments between parent and child (and child and caregiver), emphasize a strengths-based, relationship-centered approach to services, and encompass the full range of a family's needs through a child's third birthday. The YPI Early Head Start program is funded to serve 89 infants and toddlers in a center-based setting in Hollywood and surrounding areas.
Prior to joining YPI, Aissa was the Assistant DIrector for Neighborhood Centers Inc. Head Start & Early Head Start program serving 755 children and families in Fort Bend County. In this position, she was responsible for working in partnership with the Director in the administration of the program, including program design and management, oversight of record-keeping and monitoring systems and development of community partnerships.
Aissa served on the Texas Head Start Association Board as well as the Greater Houston Healthy Marriage Coalition. She is also passionate about women’s health, specifically early detection of Breast Cancer. As a survivor of breast cancer herself, she has spoken at various organizations and events to share he story and encouragement to other women affected by this disease.
Aissa earned a Bachelors of Arts from Southwest Texas University. In addition, she received a Volunteer Management certification from Rice University, she is a Professional Master Trainer through the Texas Early Care & Education Career Development System, she received an Administrator's Credential through the National Head Start Association and received certification through Cornell University as a Family Development Credential Instructor. Born and raised in Texas, Aissa is new to California and is excited about learning and exploring all that California has to offer.