Miriam's Early Learning Coalition story

At her bank job, Miriam Collette worked up to seven days a week during the pandemic as she handled paperwork for small businesses to receive funds under the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Hundreds of files have crossed her desk.

Just like Miriam has been there for her clients in their time of need, the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County is there for her, her husband and Violet, their 2 ½-year-old granddaughter, who they are raising. Violet was able to continue attending ABC Montessori Academy in Jupiter because of an ELC scholarship for children of essential workers. The scholarships are funded by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.

Miriam described how the scholarship changed their lives:

“ABC Montessori (staff) brought to my attention that ELC was offering a program to essential workers. They got me the application and the instructions about what I needed to do. Over the course of a couple weeks, I had the pleasure of speaking to some really, really wonderful people who are with ELC. I couldn’t have asked for more professional, empathetic people there. They were more than helpful.

“When I found out I was approved for Violet, I cannot begin to tell you the weight that was lifted off of my shoulders. I knew no matter what that I still had to work. I didn’t want to do anything that would interrupt her normal flow.

“Between ELC and the ABC Montessori, I cannot even begin to thank them because I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing if it wasn’t for (the scholarship). To add to it, my husband’s position was eliminated so he lost his job about five months back due to the pandemic. So now here I am as the only wage earner in the house.

“This scholarship - it has been absolutely a godsend for us. It has taken some of that financial stress off of me because we have had to re-evaluate our budget to say the least.

“Things would have been a lot different without the scholarship. If we didn’t have it, we would have had to figure out how to keep Violet at home and that would have absolutely broke my heart. I honestly think it would have broken her heart too because of how much she enjoys it. I tell her that I’m going to work in the morning and she says, ‘Okay, I go to school.’

“She loves it.”

About Healthy, Safe, Strong Stories

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County continues to serve local children and families with the same mission that’s motivated us since 1986: to keep our county’s children healthy, safe and strong. This #HealthySafeStrong series highlights the vital work our providers are doing, and reminds Palm Beach County families that Children’s Services Council is here for you. To contact Children’s Services Council, please click here.