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North Texans honored as Outstanding Child Advocates in Texas

Children at Risk, a non-partisan research and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to understanding and addressing the root causes of child poverty and inequality, recently held their annual Accolades Luncheon: The Academy Awards of Child Advocacy in Houston where they honor and give accolades to outstanding individuals and organizations that advocate on behalf of Texas children.

Several North Texans received statewide and regional awards. Larry James, CEO Emeritus of CitySquare received the Maconda Brown O’Connor Legacy Distinguished Advocate award. Anu Partap, MD, MPH with Cook Children’s Medical Center was recognized as Child Health Advocate of the Year. Libby McCabe with The COMMIT Partnership was honored as an Education Advocate of the Year.

Regional recognition for the Dallas, Fort Worth, and North Texas area was given to Susan Hoff of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Leah King of the United Way of Tarrant County and Jerletha McDonald of Arlington DFW Child Care.

The full slate of awardees include:

Special Nominees

Champion for Children

Stephen F. Klineberg, PhD | Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Maconda Brown O’Connor Legacy Distinguished Advocate

Larry James | CEO Emeritus, CitySquare

Voice For Children

Texas Representative Angie Chen Button

Texas Representative James Talarico

Statewide Awards

Rising Star in Child Advocacy Viridiana Carrizales | IMMSchools, Edith Rahimian | ProUnitas Inc., Clayton Travis | Texas Pediatric Society

Child Health Advocate of the Year Jamie Freeny, DrPh | Center for School Behavioral Health, Mental Health America of Greater Houston, Kristi Mena, PhD | UTHealth School of Public Health, Anu Partap, MD, MPH | Cook Children’s Medical Center

Education Advocate of the Year Donna Bahorich | Education Advocate, Pedro Martinez | San Antonio ISD, Libby McCabe | The COMMIT Partnership

Outstanding NonProfit Researcher Camille Gibson, PhD, CRC | Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center, PVAMU, Ruth Lopez Turley, PhD | Houston Education Research Consortium, Rice University, Shreela Sharma, PhD | UT Health School of Public Health; Brighter Bites

Outstanding Child Focused NonProfit or NonProfit Program Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston, Kids’ Meals Inc., YWCA El Paso del Norte Region

Outstanding NonProfit Collaborative/Collaborative program Buckner Children and Family Services, RGV FOCUS, TXPOST

Regional Awards 

Outstanding Child Advocates

Houston, Gulf Coast, and East Texas Jasmine Jenkins, PhD | Houston GPS, Deborah Lugo | Arts Connect, Helen Stagg | Change Happens!

Dallas, Fort Worth, and North Texas Susan Hoff | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Leah King | United Way of Tarrant County, Jerletha McDonald | Arlington DFW Child Care

El Paso and West Texas Richard Castro | CREEED, Mike Mills | Education Partnership of the Permian Basin, Deb Zuloaga | United Way of El Paso County

Rio Grande Valley Maria I. Campos | AVANCE Rio Grande Valley, Felipe Pena | Children’s Museum of Brownsville, Rodney Rodriguez, PhD | RGV FOCUS

Austin, San Antonio, and Central Texas Jenna Courtney | TXPOST, Mary Garr | Family Service Association, Pedro Martinez | San Antonio ISD

About the author

Barbara Clark Galupi