CAA is Changing Lives with a Few Dollars an Hour

Photo by: Lucy May | WCPO
Angel Kennedy, far left, poses for a photo with some of her students at the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Community Action Agency's Theodore M. Berry Children & Family Learning Center.

CEO: 'We've got to walk the talk'

CINCINNATI — A few extra dollars an hour can change a life. Just ask Angel Kennedy.

She’s a classroom aide for the Head Start program operated by the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Community Action Agency.

Kennedy has loved her job since the day she started and felt like the pay was fine, she said. But when CEO Mark Lawson announced late last year that all Community Action Agency employees would earn at least $15 an hour starting Jan. 1, she was stunned.

“I cried,” Kennedy, a single mother of two, said. “Mark Lawson made it to where it is amazing, and I can provide more for my family.”

Now Kennedy doesn’t have to work a second job on the weekends to make ends meet, she said, leaving her more time to spend with her own kids and to just rest.

“It’s a breath of fresh air,” Kennedy said. “It’s a blessing.”