I am thrilled to receive the Unsung Hero Parent Recognition Award in honor of February’s National Parent Leadership Month. Laurie Lippold, public policy director for Partners for Our Children, nominated me and shared my story during an awards dinner at the Lacey Community Center. Ross Hunter, director of the Department of Early Learning presented a certificate for my dedication as a parent and community member.
Having my daughter by my side as I was being honored meant the world to me. She was so happy and proud of her mommy. She told everyone that I was receiving an award for being the best mom ever. My daughter’s best friend and her family attended the event with me.
To be able to overcome so much adversity and have people see me for the women I am today and not the wounds of my past, touches my heart.
I am one story of many so I am proud to shine light that people can change, families can reunite, and we can spread love and light into our communities and families in a powerful way. I am especially proud of my daughter. She has never had to witness the pains of my past. Instead, she holds my hand with her head held high as I strive to encourage her to be all that she can be. I believe this award is a special recognition of all the hard work and how close I am with my child.
As a mom who has navigated the child welfare system and overcome substantial obstacles to be where I am at today, my hope is that more families can have an opportunity to not only heal, but to prevent the need to heal in the first place. I hope to be an example of what can be accomplished.
Alise Hegle is an advocacy project manager and policy lead for Children's Home Society of Washington.