Mara Powell
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Kentucky Youth Advocates Hosts Cheers for Children 2019 Celebration

LOUISVILLE, KY – On Thursday, April 11th, Kentucky Youth Advocates hosted the Cheers for Children 2019 Celebration to celebrate progress for kids during this year’s legislative session and to honor community advocates who helped make that progress happen.

In the 2019 legislative session, four Kentucky Youth Advocates and Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priority bills were passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor.

  • Senate Bill 1 will increase student safety and access to behavioral health services in schools.
  • House Bill 2 will improve state supports and data reporting for kinship caregivers.
  • House Bill 11 will enact a statewide tobacco-free school campus policy.
  • House Bill 158 will establish a bill of rights for children in foster care and begins to align state child welfare laws with federal laws.

The following community advocates were presented with the Courage for Kids award because of their recent advocacy efforts and ongoing commitment to making Kentucky the best place in America to be young.

  • Jane Emke is a tireless advocate committed to improving the lives of children and helping families struggling with addiction through the development of the Family Recovery Court in Jefferson County. Award presented by David Nicholson, Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk.
  • BRIDGE Kentucky is a group of residents of Glasgow, Kentucky dedicated to wrapping around the children in foster care in their community to ensure they have the best possible childhood and future.  Award presented by Keith Mason, Engagement Catalyst at UnitedHealthcare.
  • Monroe County CARES is a group of south-central Kentucky high school students working to reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs among their peers and who were key advocates in the passage of House Bill 11. Award presented by Veronica Cecil, Vice President for Policy at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

“Winning for kids means action at so many levels. As an example, we are catching our breath after the 2019 legislative session, and it’s so important to acknowledge the efforts required to pass bills such as these. And at the same time, we must celebrate local heroes across Kentucky who are showing up for kids every single day in their communities,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.

We thank our Presenting Sponsor, Kosair Charities®, and our Partner Sponsors, Contemporary Galleries, Phil Brown Insurance Company, the Porcini/Farmer Children’s Foundation, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and Wilson & Muir Bank & Trust Co.


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