First3Years: Dr. Edwards, Why did you get involved with us here at First3Years?
Dr. Edwards: "Here in Houston, we are fortunate to have a variety of organizations that focus on early childhood education. We also have hospital systems that ensure the young children in their care get a strong start. However, there are many other systems that come into contact with our youngest Houstonians - from child welfare to criminal justice and nutrition programs - that do not specialize in this population. First3Years offers the expertise to help their programs and policies support infants' and toddlers' early brain development."
First3Years: In your opinion, what is the most important work that we do?
Dr. Edwards: "
First3Years' ability to serve as a consistent, knowledgeable voice across multiple sectors to ensure that all programs and policies developed are aligned with best practices for infants and toddlers is invaluable."
First3Years: How does First3Years uniquely contribute to the community?
Dr. Edwards: "
First3Years brings a unique ability to influence positive outcomes in systems-level work through its access and understanding of current research and best practices to better ensure our infants and toddlers are well-supported."
First3Years: What do you hope we will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
Dr. Edwards: "Short term, First3Years is building relationships in order to be an active partner across the many collaborative efforts underway in the greater Houston area. Longer term, we hope that all systems and processes impacting infants and toddlers will be designed according to research-based best practices."
First3Years: Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration?
Dr. Edwards: "I have eleven nieces and nephews living in the Houston area and dozens of students I taught during my time as a fourth grade teacher. My students have now gotten older, and I have recently learned that one of them is a parent. It is important to me that my future children, my nieces and nephews and the future children of my students live in a community that is supportive of their optimal growth and development."
First3Years: Anything else you would like to share?
"I always leave conversations with Sadie inspired about what is possible in infant toddler development and the importance of family connections.
I am so grateful for her and her team's passion and commitment to this work
Thank you Dr. Edwards for your kind words and support!