THEN - In 2002, Charles Ramsey II, a single father in CAA's Head Start program, was selected out of a pool of 1.3 million parents nationwide as the National Head Start Parent of the Year. Ramsey and his then toddler son Charles Ramsey III, had been in the Head Start program for three years, with Ramsey serving two-years on the Parent Policy Council, and as an active participant in the Male Involvement Initiative, serving on the Fatherhood Conference Planning Committee. Ramsey was candid about the challenges he had faced in life, including homelessness and substance abuse, until he found CAA and took full advantage of the agency's integrated services. He resided in the Roosevelt House for a time, attended Computer Literacy classes, and after graduating from GCMI, launched his own paint contracting business. He was equally open about how CAA helped him in his personal transformation. "This agency helped me wake up to my own potential...empowered me to do better things with my life...I'm a better father to all my children now ...I hope this award is a message to other [fathers] 'Look at me - if I can do it, you can too.' "
NOW - Eleven years later, Charles Ramsey III is now a 15 year old Sophomore piano prodigy at the Scool for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) and is making a splash in the news as he prepares for a solo concert on February 8 in Music Hall's north balcony lobby and a "tour preview" concert on February 15 with SCPA's 18-member jazz Ensemble Eclectique at the Centennial Barn - both concerts to raise funds for the ensemble's tour to Krakow and Warsaw, Poland in April. Michael Chertock, chair of the piano department at UC's College Conservatory of Music said, "He is already making a name for himself in jazz and classical music, [as] one of the most exciting young pianists to emerge in Cincinnati in years."Read the full January 30 Enquirer article and watch a video of Charles at the piano: