Jean Childs, 2013 December 02. OH-00182. [Audio recording] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.\n
Standardized Rights Statement
I start talking and they say how old are you, Jean? But anyway, so that's where the name KCEP comes from. So the Concentrated Employment Program was the first Manpower. Now, it's been called a lot of things since then—CETA or whatever it is—but it's still the same thing. They started dealer schools, teaching black people how to deal, bartend, all these things that they had not been allowed to do. Some of the first dealers on the Strip came out of those dealer schools. We had adult education schools. I worked with the adult education school under Verla. That was one of the supporter services. So we were getting people GEDs and what have you. We also got people if they were eligible for welfare, if they needed other services, whatever, so that they could be ready for jobs, training, whatever. I'm going to tell you a story. This is a true story. This is one of the most fascinating things that ever happened to me and I was a very young woman; that's why I knew I could do all this stuff because if I could do this. I don't know if you know it, but a lot of people from here, black people from here came from Tallulah, Louisiana. And Fordyce, Arkansas. Right. Well, I didn't know that. I came from California. And this young woman wanted to do nurse's training. She was a single mother already and I was working under Verla doing these social services and the Manpower; that's where I was before I did Head Start. She came in. And she ended up crying, which I'm like all of 24 years old, so that just really rocked my boat. That's when your brain goes, should you even be doing this? So I guess one of the high schools near or in Tallulah—McCall High School—had burned down and there weren't records of a lot of the graduates. So she said, but I graduated. So I'm sitting there and she's crying and I'm sitting there and I finally said you've got to stop crying because I can't. And I said, I'm thinking now—Tallulah, Louisiana. Okay, now, people have described to me that Tallulah was as big as a second and most people lived in farms around Tallulah. So I got this picture. And I said do you know who the principal was of your school? She said yes. So we sat there and we called Tallulah. We found the principal. When I got him on the phone, I said, can you vouch for some of my people coming in that graduated from high school? He said, well, let me talk to the school district and let me see if they'll let me do it. He called back within a couple of days and they let him. So that was one of those things. Once I did that I said you know... So the rest of my life in Head Start was about—you can't do everything, but you sure should not be short of trying or asking.