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child emotionally and socially and gets them ready to
learn. She says that Head Start is able to identify and
deal with issues upfront ranging from speaking, hear-
ing, or vision problems.
“Early intervention is the best intervention,” Mag-
wood-Thomas says. “Head Start caters to the entire
family.”
According to her, the program has federal man-
dates which require that 80 percent of the participants
be from low-income families, 10 percent of children
with disabilities, and 10 percent from the general pop-
ulation. Magwood-Thomas says that children are the
world’s “greatest commodity” and that making a dif-
ference in a child’s life today can make the world a
better place in the future. But, she says she strongly
believes that working with children is a calling that
exceeds monetary rewards.
“You’ll never get rich financially,” she says. “It’s
more of a passion than a career.” She says that it is
important to teach children that they are valuable and
to help them become the best that they can be by ele-
vating their self-esteem. She said that it is fundamen-
tal that a child know his or her own worth.
“They are somebody, and because they are some-
body, they can make a difference,” Magwood-Thomas
says. She says that it is this belief in one’s own self
Susie Magwood-Thomas says her mother was jailed after she
that drives the dreamers and doers of tomorrow. Re-
marched in downtown Moultrie during the Civil Rights Movement.
flecting on her own life and times, she says that she’s
had opportunities that she never imagined possible.
“When I was young, I never dreamed that I could
be a city council member,” Magwood-Thomas says. “I
never thought I’d live to see an African-American
CoCo’s
president.” But, she says it isn’t enough to have a
Downtown Moultrie
dream.
“Nothing comes to a sleeper, but a dream,” she
says. “If you work and make it happen, it can happen.”
Magwood-Thomas says she believes that the fu-
ture belongs to those who are willing to see it through
with hard work and determination.
“If you are committed to a cause, it can become a
reality,” she says. She also says that education is not
confined to the formalities of the classroom.
“Everybody will not and cannot go to college,” she
says. “Do what you can in life to better yourself.” She
also says that people need to be shown that a better
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life is possible and she hopes to be able to do that
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through her current roles. As for the transition from
Atlanta back to Moultrie after more than 20 years,
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Magwood-Thomas says she is often asked how she
deals with the cultural differences.
229-985-0591
“I was never fascinated by bright lights,” she says.
Winter 2010 Moultrie Magazine 19
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