Supervisor Noelia Corzo on her Role on the First 5 San Mateo County Commission

In the dynamic landscape of early childhood development, First 5 San Mateo County (F5SMC) is proud to welcome a new commissioner, San Mateo County Supervisor, Noelia Corzo, whose personal journey has fueled her commitment to championing the well-being of young children and families. Supervisor Corzo was excited to share her background, motivations, and aspirations for her role in shaping the future of F5SMC.

How has your background inspired you to become a First 5 San Mateo County commissioner? How do your previous experiences align with the mission and values of First 5 San Mateo County?

Supervisor Noelia Corzo (NC): After becoming a mother at the age of 20 while pursuing an education at San Francisco State, I intimately understood the challenges faced by my fellow young parents. Having access to childcare through my university played a pivotal role in my ability to complete my degree and begin my career, while it also provided a stable foundation for my son’s education and development. My firsthand experience with the impact of quality early childhood education inspires my dedication to the mission and values of F5SMC. All parents should have the kind of support and stability they need to feel comfortable and to thrive. When parents can rely on their childcare, that is a huge piece of the puzzle.

As a former school board member and current County Supervisor, I bring a unique perspective to the F5SMC team. I raised my child in San Mateo County, and so I know how wonderful it can be. First 5’s mission is to support families and bring equity to the early childhood systems that low-income families rely on. I always have, and always will, keep those missions central to my work as a public servant.

Why is it important that First 5 SMC supports families by funding early childhood services?

NC: Providing families with early childhood services is important because it holds the transformative power to not only positively impact individual family members’ lives, but to shape the entire trajectory of a child. The quality of early childhood services, and whether children get access to these services at all, plays an essential role in addressing and closing gaps that can already exist by the time children enter kindergarten or preschool. These services are a powerful tool for a child’s learning, as well as their social and emotional development, and they are a foundational element that significantly influences a child’s educational future, and the future of our county. By intervening early, First 5 San Mateo County is making it so that every child, regardless of their background, has the opportunity for equitable and stable development before they get to kindergarten.

What do you hope for the future of First 5? How do you see your work with and for children and families continuing in the near future?

NC: My hope for the future of First 5 San Mateo County is continued and additional investment in early childhood and young families! We want to allow services to expand and better serve the needs of families. More investment would allow for even more people to know about and use the services First 5 San Mateo County supports. 

As a county supervisor, I am working to address community concerns faster, and in a sustainable way. As a commissioner, I have a deep understanding of the importance of quality childcare to parents and children, but also to the whole San Mateo County community, including businesses, public health, and the rest of our society. Early childhood is a foundation for our county, and I’m committed to bringing more childcare options to San Mateo County. 

My vision is growth, a bigger impact, and a codified commitment to supporting the well-being of children and families in San Mateo County. 

What about this work feels exciting to you? Is there anything else that you’d like to share with the First 5 San Mateo County community?

NC: I am genuinely impressed with the unwavering commitment to equity and thoughtfulness that shows in all aspects of First 5’s work. It makes my role on the board a fulfilling experience! I am eager to contribute even more and actively propel First 5 San Mateo County forward. I am particularly passionate about expanding childcare options in our county. I believe that by working collaboratively, we can address this critical need and further enhance the support we provide to children and families in our community. It’s heartening to see the progress we’ve made and the potential for even greater impact ahead.

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