Open to the entire community, the Arlington center offers spacious classrooms filled with natural light, a tree-lined playground and its own vegetable garden. The Center for Transforming Lives’ partnership with The University of Texas at Arlington provides additional educational opportunities for students of all ages and is 4-star Texas Rising Star provider.Click here to watch all of the American Dream Chapter videos on the City of Arlington’s YouTube channel. You can also visit arlington-tx.gov/news/tag/american-dream-city/.
After overcoming poverty herself, Arlington native Carol Klocek is now helping North Texas women and families do the same as chief executive officer of the Center for Transforming Lives.“Growing up here in Arlington, I was from a very large family and we struggled,” Klocek said. “For me as a young girl, I was honestly afraid to dream. But thankfully, the community encouraged me to dream and I graduated from UTA’s School of Social Work.”Today, under Carol Klocek’s leadership, the Center for Transforming Lives has an annual operating budget of more than $6 million and offers enhanced services for more than 3,700 low-income and homeless women, children and families each year.The organization started in 1907 as the first YWCA in the state of Texas, working to break the cycle of poverty for women and children through safe housing, early childhood development and financial stability. In 2015, the organization officially changed its name to Center for Transforming Lives to better reflect its local mission.“The American Dream to me means that people can envision a future for themselves and have the tools that they need. And by embracing hard work, they can get there,” Klocek said.The Center for Transforming Lives offers early childhood education and child care at three development centers, in downtown Fort Worth, the Polytechnic Heights area and Arlington, located at 1120 UTA Blvd, Arlington, TX 76013.