Head Start Mourns the Passing of Rep. Don Young

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Head Start Association Executive Director Yasmina Vinci issued the following statement on the legacy of the former U.S. Representative from Alaska Don Young, the longest-serving Republican in the history of the House, who passed away suddenly on Friday, March 18, 2022 at the age of 88.

“The Head Start community mourns the loss of Rep. Don Young, a steadfast champion for Head Start in Alaska and across the country. Over the course of his many years in the House, the Congressman worked diligently across the aisle to improve the lives of all children and families. We are forever grateful for his leadership and hope the outpouring of admiration and memories will bring solace to his family and his community in Alaska during this difficult time.”

Representative Young long supported Head Start, including during the program’s most recent reauthorization in 2007 and through Dear Colleague letters advocating its expanded funding every year since 2018. Just last year, Rep. Young introduced the bipartisan Care is an Economic Development Strategy Act, continuing his legacy of support of expanding high-quality early care and education.

“Rep. Young’s strong and ongoing record of supporting Head Start, as well as his deep love for Alaska and Alaskans, will certainly be missed,” said CCS Early Learning Executive Director Mark Lackey in Wasilla, AK. “His willingness to fight with passion for our young state and the people that live here, including our youngest children, will be the enduring story of his legacy. The Head Start community in Alaska expresses our deepest gratitude for his many years of service and our condolences to his family.”

About NHSA

The National Head Start Association is committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grant recipients in the United States. ••• Media Contact: Emily Wagner, Director of Communications, media@nhsa.org