Sunday, January 27, 2013

Colorado public health employee receives national award for dedicated service to children and youth

Anne-Marie Braga, a public health employee at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment leading population and community health initiatives, is awarded the nationally recognized Lewis Hine Award for her dedicated service to children and youth. The annual Lewis Hine Awards are presented by the National Child Labor Committee to 10 recipients – five professionals and five volunteers – for exceptional service to young people.

Braga has spent her career helping children and youth reach their full potential by promoting their inherent strengths and engaging their voices in programmatic and policy decisions

Those who work with Braga say she’s a driving force in promoting a positive youth development approach to ensure that all Colorado youth have the skills and opportunities to reach their full potential.

Braga champions the inclusion of youth in ongoing “community conversations” – intent on improving government’s ability to address issues that impact them, such as youth development, injury prevention, sexual health, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, and teen driving safety.

Recently she successfully advocated to hire youth staff as advisers to provide input on programs and initiatives. This unprecedented change in department personnel hiring required continued education and advocacy about youth's valuable contribution.

Braga’s leadership for various state-level youth initiatives include the Youth Partnership for Health, a diverse youth advisory board for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Colorado 9to25, an initiative that works in partnership with young people to ensure that all youth are safe, healthy, educated, connected and contributing.

The Lewis Hine Awards are named for the acclaimed National Child Labor Committee photographer who documented early-20th century exploitation of children. The awards honor those individuals who, as professionals or volunteers, give of themselves and go the extra mile for the well-being of young people. The recipients are selected by a distinguished panel of judges from among hundreds of nominations submitted each year by business, community, and nonprofit leaders.

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