Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award

This national staff award in memory of Aubrey Puckett celebrates a Head Start alumna, alumnus, or parent now working for a Head Start or Early Head Start program who demonstrates their passion for serving through advocacy, career growth, and being actively involved in their program, community, or at the state or national level.

Scholarship winners will receive an award of $500 and a commemorative certificate. The nominee must:

  • Have been enrolled in a Head Start or Early Head Start program as a child or parent for one or more years
  • Have been a Head Start program employee for at least three years
  • Provide a letter of reference from two people who know the nominee in their current role
  • Provide a cover letter addressing the following:
    • Key details about the nominee and the nominee's family and connection to Head Start as a child or parent.
    • Provide details about program service, including year started, positions held, etc.
    • Describe activities and efforts the nominee has made that demonstrate passion for serving through advocacy, career growth, and involvement in the community or at the state/national level to benefit Head Start families
  • Comply with all NHSA general rules and regulations as listed on the Scholarships & Awards homepage.

Application for 2023 - 24 are now closed. Applications for 2024 - 25 will open fall 2024.

Meet Natalie Hankins, NHSA’s 2022 Aubrey Puckett Awardee

Aubrey Puckett Memorial Awardee Natalie Hankins says “the wonderful and positive outcomes on children and their families” keeps her going.

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Past Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award Recipients

2023-24: Kathleen Sullivan, Children First, Inc., Sarasota, FL

2022-23: Judith Baker, Parents in Community Action, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

2021-22: Natalie Hankins, Institute of Community Services, Holly Springs, MS

2020-21: Sherry Day, LEADS, Inc.

2019-20: Trecia Nickerson, Alger Marquette Community Action Board

2018-19: Dorothy Frederick, Community Partnership for Child Development

2017-18: Ammie Joyce, Head Start Child and Family Development Program

2016-17: Adella Arredondo, Denver Great Kids Head Start