This year, four individuals or teams were selected as Connect With Kids (CWK), and five selected for as Do For Kids (DFK) Champions.
They were celebrated at an award ceremony on Monday, June 3.
Connect With Kids Champions
Raymond Duran, Phoenix Bikes. He has a gift of being able to be both firm and encouraging to the young people in the shop.
Darlene Owens, APS Long Branch Extended Day Program. Darlene collaborates with participants and helps facilitate their ideas – sometimes very big and creative ones – into a reasonable plan of action that the students can make a reality.
Design and Engineering Club: Steve Ellis, James Kolody, Topher Paterno, APS Gunston Midde School. D&E club leaders help students design and construct projects, putting the students in charge of solving safety, style, team, cost, and other problems. They engage as trustworthy mentors who can help with teamwork and interpersonal issues, personal goals and motivations, and complicated problems and issues.
Carlyssa Winstead, Doorways for Women & Families. She brings patience, dedication, humour and a strong commitment to ensure the youth who are in transition (ages 18-24) as they prepare to live independently.
Do For Kids Champions
APS Aquatics Management Team, The team of aquatics professionals teach 3rd and 4th graders to swim and enjoy the water in such a positive and caring manner that all students benefit from the experience.
Cheryl Fuentes and Project Family, Cheryl and the staff at Project Family provide a safe, warm and supportive environment for new parents, giving them a place to learn, share, and feel cared for.
Encore Stage and Studio, Aileen Christian, Sara Duke, Amanda Nell, Encore is a safe place where young people feel better about themselves, learn to be confident and EVERY kid is included.
Hilton Arlington, The Hilton Arlington Hotel management group hosts an annual event for students at Kenmore Middle School Check In Program, to provide a learning experience about the world of the hospitality industry that includes a tour and cooking lessons.
Meg Rapelye, Phoenix Bikes, The former Executive Director of Phoenix Bikes expanded the reach of a small organization, offering skill training and opportunities to youth.
The Connect With Kids Champions (CWK) award was created by Mary Ann Moran, of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (APCYF) in 2004 as a way to recognize people in the community who go out of their way to connect WITH kids and develop positive, supportive relationships with them; and to inspire others to also connect with kids.
In 2018 APCYF added the Do For Kids Champion award to recognize people who work ‘behind the scenes’ and who, because of their role, aren’t able to build supportive relationships. However they demonstrate a commitment to creating opportunities or otherwise providing support FOR kids to strengthen their growth and development.