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Governor Bevin and Other Elected Leaders Join Youth and Advocates for Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol

Mara Powell
502-895-8167 *122

Governor Bevin and Other Elected Leaders Join Nearly 800 Youth and Advocates for 15th Annual Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol

Hundreds of Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth, including over 250 children and youth, are convening in Frankfort today for the 15th annual Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol. They are urging elected leaders to support the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children, a unified agenda for child advocates across the state.

“Today, youth, social workers, faith leaders, teachers, pediatricians, community leaders, and many others unite to ask our state leaders to make Kentucky children a priority during the 2019 legislative session. Kids’ issues give elected leaders and advocates a real chance to find common ground and common-sense solutions to build a brighter future for all Kentuckians,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.

Governor Matt Bevin, President Pro Tempore Senator David Givens, and several other legislators and state officials joined youth and advocates at the Rally for Kentucky Kids at 11:00 AM in the Capitol Rotunda, which included remarks by several Kentucky youth.

The following legislators, state officials, and young people were honored with 2019 Champion for Children awards:

  • Senator Julie Raque Adams
  • Senator Ralph Alvarado
  • Senator Christian McDaniel
  • Senator Damon Thayer
  • Senator Whitney Westerfield
  • Representative Joni Jenkins
  • Representative David Meade
  • Representative Steve Riley
  • Representative Steven Rudy
  • Representative Russel Webber
  • Department for Community Based Services
  • Tessa Bowling, First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council
  • Karena Cash, advocate for House Bill 527
  • Cynthia Schepers, First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council

And these legislators and young people will be honored with the 2019 Step Up for Kids awards at a Legislative Reception for Kentucky Youth at 1:00 PM on the Capitol Mezzanine:

  • Representative Joseph Fischer
  • Representative Kimberly Moser
  • Representative Jason Petrie
  • Thomas Callahan, Youth Ambassador of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children
  • Nellie Ellis, Youth Ambassador of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children
  • First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council

In addition to the rally and reception with youth, advocates are meeting with legislators throughout the day and attending committee meetings. Several groups of youth are meeting with key leaders, including Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Office of Attorney General Andy Beshear, Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet John Tilley, Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, Minority Floor Leader of the House Rocky Adkins, Representative Regina Huff, Representative Rob Rothenburger, and others.

“Today I shared my story as someone who has been through so much, including 7 different placements before finding my forever family,” said Kaleb Syra a high school senior and member of the First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council and the Boys & Girls Club of Glasgow-Barren County. “Our leaders are making decisions to help not just me find hope and stability, but kids all over Kentucky. Thank you all who are here to advocate alongside of the kids. Thank you to the legislators who realize that we are your future. Let’s continue to stand together for kids. Because Kentucky kids need all of us!”

Advocates are pushing for several policies on the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children 2019 agenda, including increasing school safety, enacting a statewide tobacco-free school campus policy, protecting children and strengthening families, and building safer communities and stronger kids with more effective responses when children get in trouble.

“As our young people, state leaders, and partner advocates join together for Children’s Advocacy Day, I’m reminded there is no better common ground, common sense, and common good agenda than working to improve the lives of Kentucky kids. Working across chambers and across political parties has paid off in a big way for kids – we’ve seen it with bipartisan Child Welfare Oversight Committee’s work on the fundamental child welfare reforms of 2018 and we’re seeing it with the comprehensive approach the School Safety Working Group is taking to address school safety. That trend must continue if we’re to improve the well-being of all Kentucky kids,” said Brooks.

Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol is made possible with the support of our Presenting Sponsor, UnitedHealthcare, and our Kentucky KIDS COUNT sponsors, Passport Health Plan, Kosair Charities®, and Delta Dental of Kentucky. We appreciate their support of Kentucky’s largest effort to bring child advocates together at the state Capitol. For more information, visit

For more information about the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children visit

For questions about Children’s Advocacy Day or to schedule an interview, please contact Mara Powell at


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at

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