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Adrienne Brown reading to her children

In It Together 

“I love ABCD. Early Head Start and Head Start are our extended family. ABCD provides access to everything you need to succeed in life – education, school readiness, housing, work skills, financial literacy. You guys are awesome!”


Twenty-five-year-old Mattapan native Adrienne Brown knows ABCD. As a teenager she participated in ABCD SummerWorks for four summers. A younger sister is currently a SummerWorks teen. Adrienne is an active neighborhood volunteer, encouraged by Mattapan EHS director Dawne Brown, who recognized her potential to be a positive force in the community. In 2018 she was honored at the ABCD Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

Now – with three boys under age four – the ABCD Early Head Start and Head Start programs mean the world to Adrienne and her husband Zubah S. Akoi Jr.

Adrienne, a nutrition staffer at Boston Public Schools working toward a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management from Southern New Hampshire University, and Zubah, an honors graduate of Ben Franklin Institute who works as a technician at Comcast and a manager at Bloomingdale’s, were thrilled when ABCD’s Mattapan Head Start program expanded to include two Early Head Start classrooms for infants and toddlers. Now their three beautiful boys are all under one caring roof. Benjamin, age 1, and Emmanuel, age 2, are in Early Head Start and Solomon, age 4, is in a Head Start classroom down the hall.

“Their social-emotional development is flourishing while they build a foundation for success in school and life,” said Adrienne.

“These children are America’s future,” said ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew at the Grand Opening Celebration for Mattapan Early Head Start. “They deserve the very best in early education and care.” Drew says ABCD will work to expand Early Head Start throughout Boston-area low-income neighborhoods. “Reaching children as infants and toddlers during their critical brain development period is vital,” he said.