The Community Voices award was established in 2019 to recognize advocates in the community who have brought tremendous change for children and youth. For the first time, the honorees of this year’s Community Voices Award were chosen by community volunteers from nominations by NC Child Advocacy Network.
Congratulations to Soaring as Eagles and the Partnership Effort for the Advancement of Children’s Health (PEACH) for being chosen to receive this year’s Community Voices Award.
PEACH and Soaring as Eagles were selected from a pool of 26 amazing grassroots organizations in North Carolina. Both received a cash prize of $2,500 and were honored at our April 16th event.
NC Child honored Cassandra Brooks with the Tom V. Child Advocacy Award for her tireless advocacy for quality, affordable early education for children in North Carolina.
Mrs. Brooks is known across North Carolina and nationally as an advocate for low-income families with young children, and for the hardworking early childhood teachers who care for them. The early education field is plagued by low wages and lack of benefits. Mrs. Brooks became an outspoken advocate for expanding Medicaid in North Carolina after losing a beloved staff member to a preventable heart condition in 2018.
The Voices for Children Awards were established by NC Child in 2017 to honor community advocates and organizations for their service as voices for children in North Carolina.
In 2017, NC Child honored the work of Tom Vitaglione by establishing an award in his name: The Tom V. Child Advocacy Award.
The award recognizes Tom’s decades of service as a voice for children in North Carolina. It is a voice characterized by the following qualities:
An unshakeable and infectious belief — even when there are daunting challenges before us — that we can make a measurable and positive difference in the lives of our children through policy change.
A deep and joyful love for the children in our lives and in our community, and a heart-driven desire to make sure each child has every opportunity to grow, learn, play and thrive, because all children — every single one — deserve our protection and our love.
The capacity to never, ever give up working for the best interests of our children’s safety, health, education and well-being. Even when we hit a dead-end; even after years of little progress; we persist, staying in the game and speaking up for what our children need to succeed.
The belief that good public policy is forged in partnership, bridging the divides of party and politics, to do what is right by children. Child advocates do our best work by overcoming differences — by listening, compromising, negotiating, and finding common ground — to advance solutions that prioritize our state’s children.
NC Child believes these qualities are critical to effective advocacy for children in our state. We look forward to presenting this biennial award to an individual or individuals who demonstrates these qualities and who — like Tom V. — is a voice for children in North Carolina.
The Community Voices award was established in 2019 to recognize those advocates on the ground and in the community who have brought tremendous change for children and youth because of their voices and their efforts.
In 2021, the honorees of this year’s Community Voices Award were chosen by a panel of community volunteers from nominations by the North Carolina Child Advocacy Network. The selected honorees will be awarded a cash prize of $2,500 and will be recognized at the 2021 Voices for Children Awards.
Requirements for nomination:
In 2019, the first Community Voices Award was awarded to SaySo, or Strong Able Youth Speaking Out, a statewide association of youth aged 14 to 24 who are, or have been, in the substitute care system in North Carolina.
SaySo began in 1998 as a project of the NC Child Advocacy Institute. Nancy Carter cultivated a vision of lifting the voices of those young people most impacted by the foster care system, and helping those strong, smart, experienced youth voices be heard by local and state decision-makers – whether it was the staff and leadership of local departments of social services, foster families, Guardian ad Litem’s, the Governor’s Office, or the North Carolina legislature.
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