Inaugural Unsung Hero Award

We are so excited to announce the award recipient for our 1st Annual Unsung Hero Award!

The purpose of the Unsung Hero Award is to highlight those in our community who share the mission of The Alliance: supporting, encouraging, and assisting women to improve their lives and their employment outlook and to move forward actively to achieve this mission. Our watchword is ABUNDANCE and our goal is to THRIVE. We want to recognize people who support women to live in ABUNDANCE and to THRIVE.

The Unsung Hero Award recognizes someone in our community who demonstrates commitment to the advancement and self-sufficiency of women by helping them prepare for and achieve their employment goals. They may do this either through their professional role or through their personal efforts. The Unsung Hero tirelessly supports women through life’s transitions and challenges by helping them with job placement, education, professional development, etc.

This year's recipient is Ms. Tara Best, Program Director of Loisann's Hope House. Tara was selected because her work at Hope House represents the values that the ACPW supports in advancing job stability and career development for women in transition, typically without the public recognition they deserve!

Tara was nominated by the Executive Director of Loisann’s Hope House, Lisa Crittenden. In Lisa’s words: Over the past 10 years that Tara has been with Loisann’s Hope House, she has been instrumental and vital to ensuring that children are no longer on the streets, have food in their bellies and a place to call home. She leads programming models that combine effective practices and which incorporate safe, affordable housing, employment, transportation and childcare. These are all necessary components for a family to sustain financial self-reliance in their own homes.

Tara will be honored at an award ceremony on June 23, 2016 and will have the opportunity to share the good work Loisann’s Hope House does at the 3rd annual ACPW Women in Transition Career Conference this Fall.

More about Tara's great work at Loisann's Hope House:

Tara is responsible for programs that enable women and families in the City of Fredericksburg and neighboring counties to gain life skills and education needed for sustained independence.

  • Intensive case management

  • Tutoring

  • Employment or vocational training

  • Placement and referrals

  • Life skills and social skills courses

  • Stress management

  • Financial management

  • Wellness and nutrition

Loisann’s Hope House is the first and largest homeless family shelter in the Fredericksburg region and has an 89% success rate – that is, 89% of the women and families they “graduate” are able to remain in their homes. By May of 2016 alone they had helped 33 moms with children find permanent shelter this year.

Background on Loisann’s Hope House

Founded in 1987, the Loisann’s Hope House is a residential facility with child care and supportive programs to stop the cycle of homelessness for children and families in Planning District 16: The City of Fredericksburg, the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, and Caroline. Loisann’s Hope House is the only largest program/facility for homeless families. The Loisann’s Hope House is funded through private donations and private, local, state, and federal grants.

Community partners include:

  • Thurman Brisben Center (TBC)

  • Empowerhouse (formerly RCDV)

  • Micah Ecumenical Ministries

  • Rappahannock United Way

  • Central Virginia Housing Coalition

Background on The Alliance

The Alliance of Creative Professional Women is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to serving the professional goals of women while enriching the quality of their personal lives. Members are women who bring the wisdom and experience that comes with time and who generously share these with others. Alliance members recognize and are grateful for the help others have given them in their own journeys and are dedicated to “paying it forward” to help others overcome the challenges they face as they learn and grow professionally.

They create and participate in a variety of community outreach activities including:

  • ACPW’s annual Women in Transition Career Conference

  • In Christy's Shoes fundraising efforts

  • Professional clothing drives benefitting Women Giving Back

  • Professional development activities in partnership with the Marine Corps Career Services, Personal and Professional Development Office.

#communitysupport #jobplacement #employment #childcare #selfreliance

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