Elected leaders and advocates step up for Kentucky kids in countless ways every day, especially in Frankfort throughout the legislative session. During Children’s Advocacy Week, Kentucky Youth Advocates and partners in the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children present Champion for Children awards to honor those state leaders, advocates, and young people for their efforts.
At this year’s Rally for Kentucky Kids, we honored the following community leaders and young people with Champion for Children awards for their advocacy efforts for Kentucky kids and families:
- Barry Allen –President & Treasurer, The Gheens Foundation, Inc. who leads Bloom Kentucky, a statewide initiative of grant makers focused on preventing and mitigating Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Eltuan Dawson – member of the True Up Peer Network, advocate for young people with foster care experience, and one of the young-adult researchers of the Residential Foster Care Analysis Report
- Felicity Therese Krueger – youth mental health and child welfare advocate and member of Journey to Success Kentucky
- Dr. Leon Mooneyhan –former executive director of the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative with decades of advocacy to improve outcomes in early childhood, K-12 education, and the child welfare system
- Debby Yetter – retired investigative journalist with The Courier Journal with a longtime commitment to covering issues impacting children and families, including the juvenile justice and child welfare systems
The following state legislators were also honored with Champion for Children awards for their leadership on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children 2022 priorities:
- Senator Julie Raque Adams – lead sponsor of Senate Bill 8 to strengthen points of the child welfare system and Senate Bill 178 to extend Medicaid eligibility for new mothers for up to 12 months postpartum
- Senator Danny Carroll – lead sponsor of Senate Bill 97 to strengthen the coroner notification process upon the death of a child
- Senator Jason Howell – lead sponsor of Senate Bill 151 to allow school districts the option to serve students on free and reduced meals their breakfast during the first 15 minutes of the day
- Senator Whitney Westerfield – led defense against efforts to undermine the safety and well-being of young people impacted by the juvenile justice system
- Senator Max Wise – lead sponsor of Senate Bill 102 to ensure a yearly census of the school-based mental health providers to help ensure students can access needed services
- Representative Samara Heavrin – lead sponsor of House Bill 499 to establish the infrastructure for the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership program to improve access to child care
- Representative Bobby McCool – co-sponsor of House Bill 44 to require school districts’ attendance policy include provisions for a student’s mental or behavioral health status
- Representative Kimberly Moser – lead sponsor of House Bill 174 (passed through Senate Bill 178) to extend Medicaid eligibility for new mothers for up to 12 months postpartum
- Representative Lisa Willner – co-sponsor of House Bill 44 to require school districts’ attendance policy include provisions for a student’s mental or behavioral health status
Congratulations to our 2023 Champion for Children awardees!
Watch recordings of the virtual Children’s Advocacy Week events — including this short video highlighting the Day at the Capitol.
Children’s Advocacy Week is made possible with the support of our many sponsors, including our signature sponsor, Aetna Better Health of Kentucky, presenting sponsor, Seven Counties Services/ Bellewood & Brooklawn, presenting and social media sponsor, Save the Children Kentucky, and our many partner sponsors. We appreciate their support of Kentucky’s largest effort to bring child advocates together.
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