News & Perspectives

News & Perspectives

Celebration Day


On Thursday, June 15, Children's Trust staff and partners came together both in-person and virtually for this year's Celebration Day. Our annual Celebration Day celebrates the work and accomplishments of Children’s Trust program partners and family support professionals across Massachusetts. 

From honoring the extraordinary work of our partners to hearing inspiring and powerful stories from Healthy Families program participants - this year's event highlighted the power of working together to support children and families.  

All of us at the Children’s Trust are extremely proud and excited about the hard work and partnerships that we see on the local, state, and national levels that continue to strengthen the lives of children and families across the Commonwealth.  

Jennifer Valenzuela, Children's Trust Executive Director presented Chris Millett with the Family Recognition Award.

Moments of Reflection

After accepting the 2023 Family Recognition Award, recent Children’s Trust Healthy Families graduate, Chris Millett, shared how the Healthy Families program helped him and his partner navigate parenting during the pandemic and gain confidence as parents.

“Since Mahalia's graduation from this program [Healthy Families] a few months ago, I can confidently say that I am a proud parent of an amazing and beautiful daughter and I was given the right amount of guidance to lead as a father and role model for my daughter.” 
Kyara Torres shared the impact Healthy Families has had on her family.

Attendees also heard from Healthy Families program participant, Kyara Torres. Kyara reflected on how the Children’s Trust Healthy Families program helped her overcome domestic violence, navigate grief, and become the strong, loving mother she is today. She expressed her gratitude for the support and guidance of her family's home visitor, Tara, and how much she values both their relationship and the Healthy Families program.

“I know there are many other young parents who are facing similar challenges and to them, I would say this: you are not alone. The Healthy Families program is here to help, and there are people like Tara who will be with you every step of the way."

Moments of Inspiration and Celebration

Special guest, Whitney Dodds LMHC, LPC, spoke on the importance of self-compassion and taking care of our mental health. She shared tools and resources on setting boundaries and the power of mindfulness and relaxation. 

"In order to effectively help others, you must prioritize your own well-being and self-care." - Whitney Dodds, LMHC, LPC
Whitney Dodds, LMHC, LPC.

Celebration Day Awards

Each year, we are thrilled to recognize the dedication and accomplishments of Children’s Trust program partners and family support professionals across Massachusetts. Congratulations to this year's award recipients!

Healthy Families Awards

All-Star Award
Fall River Healthy Families  

Home Visiting Award
Cape Cod Healthy Families  

Documentation Award
North Shore Healthy Families  

Fatherhood and Co-Parenting Award  
Berkshire County Healthy Families  

Legislative Advocacy Award 
Lowell Healthy Families  

Public Relations Award 
North Worcester County Healthy Families  

Reflective Supervision Award  
Franklin County Healthy Families  

Training Award 
Greater Worcester Healthy Families  

Community Engagement Award 
New Bedford Healthy Families  

Focus on Quality Award 
Haverhill Healthy Families  

Vanguard Award 
Marsela Mitrushi and Debra DeAlmeida 

Groups Award 
Lawrence Healthy Families  

Drop the Mic Award 
Hope Ma and Donna Foti Scovell 

Community Award  
Gus Rego and the Metro North DCF Office 

Family Center Awards

Drop the Mic Award
Michelle Godfrey, Cambridge Center for Families 

Community Champion
Penny Funaiole, Office of Prevention and Outreach of the Medford Health Department 

Family Recognition Award
Christopher Millett, Cape Cod & the Islands 

Healthy Families Springfield Staff