Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth Congratulates 2018 Child Abuse Prevention Award Winners

| April 8, 2018

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FLAGSTAFF — One is an advocate for connecting children in need with a permanent family, another is a strong advocate for mentoring youth, while yet another is a strong believer in the power of education to change the lives of children.

The Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth (CCC&Y) congratulates the 2018 Caring for Children Award recipients. Awardees this year include: Kelly Brown, Clinical Director at Child and Family Support Services; Coral Evans, Flagstaff Mayor and Executive Director of Sunnyside Neighborhood Association of Flagstaff Inc.; Frank Garcia, Principal at Thomas Elementary; Stephanie Jackson, Guide at Grand Canyon Youth and Science Teacher at Flagstaff Junior Academy; Angela Rees, Trauma Therapist & Youth Shelter Clinical Oversight at Northland Family Help Center, and Lina Wallen, Volunteer (CASA, FCRB, CCC&Y, NARBHA).

These individuals were recently recognized by the Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth at its annual conference and luncheon held March 29 at Little America Hotel, Flagstaff. The annual event, which drew a record-setting number of conference participants and luncheon guests, was held in recognition of April as “Child Abuse Prevention Month.”

The full day of activities also included an inspiring opening keynote address by Billy Mills on overcoming challenges of depression and suicidal thoughts to become the gold medalist in the 1964 Olympics in the 10-meter race, and then co-founding Running Strong for American Indian Youth; workshops including Self Care for the Professional, Hip Hop Heals and Childhelp Child Safety and Human Trafficking; and a luncheon presentation from a diverse panel of community experts to address issues related to promoting protective factors and developing resiliency in traumatized children and understanding the effects of historical trauma. Issues ranging from the justice system, to language revitalization, to land issues were covered in this holistic examination of strong communities.

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the “2018 Child Abuse Prevention Awards.” In the words of those who nominated them, the honorees included:

Kelly Brown“She designs programs that honor children and their stories and unwaveringly believes that children belong at home with their families. She focuses on family finding and connecting children within the child welfare system to permanent people, places, and things.”

Coral Evans“In every issue that she considers, in every discussion she has and in every vote that she participates in, she puts children and youth first. As director of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, she has made it a point to mentor youth and focus on healthy neighborhoods for children and youth.”

Frank Garcia“He believes that the principal of a school is crucial to the success of students; that is why he voluntarily mentors people who aspire to become school principals. He is widely known as a support — his reputation precedes him. Students remember him fondly and see Mr. Garcia as a role model in their own lives.”

Stephanie Jackson“Stephanie Jackson engages young people to be their best selves through art, science and connection to the natural world. She has inspired hundreds of youth to be curious about their world.”

Angela Rees“Angela really enjoys working with youth because they are often misunderstood as troubled children when really it is because they have experienced trauma. She believes they need people like us to work with them that do not hold judgment against them for their behaviors.”

Lina Wallen“Over the years, Lina Wallen has worked tirelessly to make Coconino County a better place to live. She has served on boards and commissions too numerous to mention, but the heart of her volunteer work has always been service to children.”

About the Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth: CCC&Y works to ensure all children and youth in Coconino County have the resources and support they need to reach their full potential. For more than 40 years, CCC&Y has acted as the countywide communication link, bridging and supporting services for children and youth. Through advocacy, prevention, education and community partnership-building, CCC&Y has built a strong, extensive network of families, providers, leaders and communities all striving to improve the lives of young people.

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