2022 Anita White Award for Child Advocacy

In 2015, Haven House Services established the Anita White Award for Child Advocacy in honor of Anita White. Anita was an employee and leader at Haven House Services for over 40 years and advocated on behalf of children every day.

This award is given to a deserving staff member that has positively impacted youth and families through their work, and demonstrates the following characteristics:

  • A deep and caring desire to help youth
  • Commitment to and engagement in collaborative work to improve the wellbeing of youth
  • Understands the unique needs of youth and is sensitive to commonalities and differences of youth with diverse backgrounds
  • Positive persistence and professionalism in their work on behalf of youth
  • Strong ethical conduct and positive role model to other youth workers and youth champions
  • Committed to seeking solutions for challenges facing youth and takes action on their behalf

In 2022, we awarded two of Haven House’s staff members the Anita White Award for Child Advocacy.

Rikyia Thomas (left) is the Program Specialist at Wrenn House. Read how Rikyia’s coworkers describe her below:

“Rikyia makes sure that youth are all treated fairly and all needs are met as best she can. She always greets each youth daily with a smile even when they are not having their best day. Youth know they can count on her. Rikyia is an advocate for the youth when it comes to communicating with schools, court counselors, and parents. She takes the time to help guide caregivers in the right direction by connecting them with resources beneficial to the family’s success. She always goes above and beyond her duties. She is a blessing to the Wrenn House team.”

Shameka Smith (right) is the Program Coordinator for our Second Round program. Read how Shameka’s coworkers describe her below:

“Shameka’s passion for the youth and families at Haven House impacts not only the youth she serves, but her colleagues as well. Shameka leads by example and propels all of us to keep going, do better, continue striving, and think outside the box to help overcome barriers. Shameka has creatively thought of ways to grow the Second Round program, attracting youth who need a safe and healthy place to be after school, welcoming each and every youth and family that walks through the door. She has helped youth access clinical services that were needed, helped families that needed assistance meeting basic needs, attended school meetings with families, and fielded donations for the youth in her programs. Shameka brings a lot of life and hope to our community, and it is evident in the ways that youth and families respond to her.”

Congratulations to Rikyia and Shameka and thank you for your dedication to Haven House and to youth in our community!

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