Each year, Child Advocates gathers all of our advocates to thank them for their time, dedication and support for Houston's abused children. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not hold an in-person event this year. However, many of our amazing advocates and staff were able to gather in a virtual format to present two prestigious awards - Child Advocates' highest honors - the James A. Gwinn Volunteer of the Year award and our Rookie of the Year award.
Rookie of the Year: Riley Vancuren
Our Rookie of the Year began her journey at Child Advocates in 2020. She immediately hit the ground running with her first case, becoming an advocate for a 17-year-old boy with multiple placements, issues in school, low IQ with severe trauma. Riley stepped in to become a positive and consistent support in his life.
Throughout the case, Riley has seen many ups and downs but remains committed to helping this young boy. She has done a fantastic job in maintaining daily communication with the child, guiding him, and encouraging him. Despite his troubling circumstances, Riley says she sees hope in his eyes, and she believes in the amazing adult he will become.
In her short time as an advocate, Riley has made an incredible impact. She exemplifies what we look for in an advocate volunteer … someone willing to build a genuine connection, who is dedicated to showing up for a child and helping them find a permanent home.
Congratulations, Riley! We cannot wait to see the impact you will continue to make in the years to come.
James A. Gwinn Volunteer of the Year: Ginny Price
Virginia “Ginny” Price became an advocate in 2011. For ten years, she has diligently spoken up for 21 abused children in Houston, with a total of 15 cases.
In her time as an advocate, Ginny has served children in many different scenarios – from investigating and vetting potential family members for a teen, to supporting an infant after her caregiver unexpectedly passed away, to being a reliable presence in the life of a struggling 16-year-old placed at a residential treatment center.
“Everyone seems to genuinely enjoy working with her,” one of our advocacy coordinators said. “It’s rewarding to see the relationship she develops with children and caseworkers. She seeks to be both a partner and a support, always working proactively.”
Ginny goes above and beyond to provide a better future for each of the children on her cases – never missing a meeting, family conferences, or court hearings. She offers meaningful input at every turn.
We are grateful for advocates like her who exemplify our mission and stand in the gap for the foster children in Houston every day.
Congratulations to Ginny! We are so thankful to have you as a part of the Child Advocates family.