The Community Planning and Advocacy Council (CPAC) in partnership with Parents Anonymous of NJ hosted the Fourth Annual Parent Leadership Breakfast on Saturday, February 16th at the Camden County Boathouse in Pennsauken to mark National Leadership Month. The Parent Leadership Breakfast is part of Camden County’s Covenant for Children, Youth and Families initiative.
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“There is nothing more important than helping families,” said Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the County’s Health and Human Services Department and its Division of Children and Families, in remarks at the breakfast.
“We began the Covenant several years ago to focus attention on parents, youth and children and to foster the right skills and environment for them to thrive. This annual breakfast is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of those who work every day to make families stronger,” Rodriguez told the attendees.
The Parent Leadership Breakfast included the presentation of two awards: The Parent Champion Award (also known as the Juanita Chavez Award) which recognizes someone who has demonstrated the qualities of a Parent Leader; and the Jolly K Award for someone who exemplifies the spirit and philosophy of Parents Anonymous founder, Jolly K.
The winner of this year’s Parent Champion Award is Henrietta Washington, a Camden City resident who is a parent leader involved in many activities in the community and in helping parents overcome challenges based on her experiences, hard work, dedication and passion.
Lisa Gates, from Vineland, NJ, is the 2013 Jolly K Award winner. As a group facilitator at the Family Support Organization in Vineland she has promoted parent leadership by creating an atmosphere that makes group members comfortable I with sharing their experiences and supporting one other.
Recognizing Parent Leaders for the important role they play in our communities supports the vision and mission of the Camden County Covenant for Children, Youth and Families. As the Covenant states: The vision is that “all children, youth and families in Camden County will have the resources, opportunities and support they need to reach their greatest potential as safe, responsible, productive and caring members of their families and communities. Freeholder Rodriguez and Camden Mayor Dana Redd are Co-Chairwomen of the Covenant. The Camden County Freeholder Board asked CPAC under the leadership of its President and CEO, Catherine DeCheser, to serve as their community partner in leading this effort.