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Florida’s Children First to Host Miami-Dade Awards and Fundraiser

May 9th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy

Florida’s Children First, Florida’s preeminent child advocacy group, has announced its annual Miami-Dade Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony. The event will be held Thursday, May 18, 2017, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM at the law firm of Hogan Lovells (600 Brickell Avenue, 27th Floor Miami, FL 33131).

To RSVP learn more, email events@floridaschildrenfirst.org or call 954-796-0860, or RSVP online at www.floridaschildrenfirst.org. All proceeds to benefit FCF. $100 contribution suggested.

Founded by leading Florida child advocacy attorney Howard Talenfeld, Florida’s Children First will honor child advocates in Miami at its annual fundraising and awards event. Community and business leaders, and all other persons concerned about the future of Florida’s children, especially abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth, will be in attendance.

Among those being honored are:

MATTHEW DIETZ – Outstanding Advocate for Children with Special Needs. Matthew is an active writer, advocate and speaker on disability rights issues. In 2014 he founded Disability Independence Group, a nonprofit corporation that acts as a resource center for persons with disabilities, their families, lawyers, and other professionals regarding an individual’s rights in the legal system, the education system and employment. Matthew has practiced in the area of civil rights litigation since 1996 and litigated more than 250 cases in trial and appellate courts involving cases with persons with disabilities. In 2012, he filed class action lawsuits alleging Florida unnecessarily institutionalized approximately 250 children into nursing homes and put approximately 3,500 children at risk of being institutionalized because of the state’s practice of cutting necessary nursing care to medically fragile children. Today, he continues to help these children and their families gain the needed services that are required by law.

PATRICIA ETIENNE – Outstanding Youth Advocate. Patricia has been in and out of Florida’s foster care system since the age of four. As a member of Florida Youth SHINE (FYS), Patricia has participated in numerous panels and conferences sharing her story about living in foster care. Many of the members of FYS’s local chapter see her as a role model who exhibits strength, fairness and wisdom beyond her years. She currently attends Florida International University and will earn her degree in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Tourism and a minor in Entrepreneurship this spring. In the future, she plans to teach language courses overseas and pursue a master’s degree in International Relations.

CAMERON SANTAMARINA – Outstanding Youth Advocate. Cameron is 14 years old and a former foster youth who was adopted at the age of nine. While in foster care, he lived in a shelter for more than a year and spent much of his time there wondering what was going to happen to him and his sisters. As a member of the Miami Chapter of Florida Youth SHINE (FYS), Cameron now works to share his story and spread the message that for a child a shelter is not a “home.” Last year, Cameron was also chosen to do a digital story with FYS about his experience in foster care and shelters to further share his message that all children deserve to have a safe and loving home.

About Florida’s Children First: Florida’s Children First is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of at-risk children and youth, especially those in foster care. Uniquely positioned as Florida’s premiere independent advocacy organization, our mission is to seek full representation of children and youth and obtain meaningful and sustainable improvement in Florida’s child serving systems.

To RSVP learn more, email events@floridaschildrenfirst.org or call 954-796-0860, or RSVP online at www.floridaschildrenfirst.org. All proceeds to benefit FCF. $100 contribution suggested.

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