December 8, 2016 • 6:30-8:30 pm
Sheraton Crescent Hotel, Phoenix

WITH MC NICOLE CRITES, KTVK3 NEWS ANCHOR

Thank you for joining us at the 2016 Champions for Children & Families at the beautiful Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix. We were proud to celebrate people in our community who work towards a better future for our children, who build a future where parents have the the tools, skills, and support to raise resilient, thriving children. Where childcare professionals are educated, compassionate, and prepared to teach the youngest members of our community. A future where children play and dream big. Where they are happy and healthy. Join us in building that future and celebrating Champions who are working today for that bright tomorrow!


Winners of the 2016 Champion for Children & Families Awards

Nadine Mathis Basha
Martha K. Rothman Lifetime Achievement Award

This individual or group has a long history of diligently championing the issues of children and families. They have had a significant impact with far-reaching results, and have successfully made today a better place for Arizona children.

A former teacher, educator, small business owner and volunteer, Nadine has been a tireless advocate for the well-being of children. She founded the Children’s Action Alliance, and spearheaded the effort to create a ballot initiative to generate tax funds to establish a comprehensive system of early childhood development and health that lead to First Things First, Arizona’s statewide resource that ensures all children 0-5 receive the care and support they need to succeed.

The recipient of many awards recognize her leadership, Nadine holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the University of Arizona, an honorary degree of Doctor of Education from Northern Arizona University as well as Arizona State University‘s Distinguished Achievement Award. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University.

 

Carol Knight
Champion for Children & Families Award

This individual has been an inspiration in their work for a better world for children and their families. Their creative, hands-on, advocacy has spanned over many years. They have brought about a positive change in the lives of Arizona children. 

As the Founder and Director of New Birth Child Care & Preschool in Phoenix, Carol Knight is a shining example of a true champion for children. For over 15 years, Carol has impacted the lives of countless children and families through her love, guidance, and the belief that all children can fulfill their greatest potential. Along with academic readiness, Carol ensures that every child is nurtured in self-confidence and in sharing and caring for others. Her passion for the well-being of the children and families she serves speaks volumes about her character and her true calling as a champion in our community.

 
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Colleen Walski
Champion for Children & Families Award

This individual has been an inspiration in their work for a better world for children and their families. Their creative, hands-on, advocacy has spanned over many years. They have brought about a positive change in the lives of Arizona children. 

Colleen Walski is the founder and Executive Director of the Scott Foundation. Since 2007, the Scott Foundation has positively impacted the lives of 4,500+ foster youth through programs that teach compassion and giving back to our community. With the focus on breaking the cycle of poverty and violence by teaching at-risk youth how to make better choices through selfless service, the Foundation is committed to growing the next generation of thought and service leaders.

 

Valley Leadership Class 34  
Gabe Zimmerman Emerging Champion Award

This group has emerged as an up and coming community champion for children and families. They are inspirational, compassionate, and innovative in their advocacy for making our community a better place for children and families. 

For their Community Impact group project, Valley Leadership Institute’s Class 34 succeeded in creating and passing legislation to help youth in Arizona’s foster care system transition to adulthood. In just 9 months, the Class conceptualized, wrote, lobbied for, and passed Senate Bill 1208 to offer former foster care youth a full tuition and mandatory fee waiver at Arizona public universities and community colleges. 

 
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Ava Castro
Giving Heart Award

The Giving Heart Award recognizes outstanding individuals who exemplify the true spirit of philanthropy. 

10-year-old Ava Castro has championed the causes of people who are homeless. Through requests of donations and every day essentials such as soap and toothpaste, Ava assembles her ‘Blessing Bags’ to give to homeless children and families who are hurting. Her ‘can do’ attitude and initiative motivates others to take action and make a difference in people’s lives.


Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors!