The official nomination includes a list of Ms. Wright’s qualifications for this honor, including her accessibility to community partners and her commitment to helping families in need. “You take your work seriously, but you don’t take yourself too seriously,” the letter, signed by Sunrise Family Resource Center’s Executive Director Denise Main, notes. “You exemplify the commitment to ‘Strengthening Families’ that is at the core of what we strive to do every day.”
For Ms. Wright, this honor speaks volumes of the hard work put in over the past year. The honoree and her fellow Family Engagement Specialists build trust from the ground up. They started the last school year by showing up to different communities, snacks in hand, trying to make connections in any way possible.
“The partnership with Sunrise really began last winter,” Ms. Wright said. As school-year employees, the Family Engagement Specialists don’t work during school breaks. After working last fall to create bonds with families in need, they found that there was going to be a gap in support while the school schedule took a break over the winter. Partnering with Sunrise was a natural step in ensuring that these families continued to receive support.
“We worked together closely and learned to really collaborate,” the honoree said. “We are in the schools, so we can support that communication. But with Sunrise, they can help families who need a little bit extra. We can provide the school-based supports, but they can assist with more day-to-day family support.”
Being recognized by Sunrise Family Resource Center comes down to one thing for Ms. Wright: trust. “I worked really hard for this trust with families, so it feels good to build another bridge that these families can use. Sunrise is a great community organization and I’m proud that they recognized the hard work I’ve put in.”
Ms. Wright feels that the continued collaboration between the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union and Sunrise Family Resource Center is key to empowering and serving families in our community.