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Bruce Lesley to Receive Inaugural Karabelle Pizzigati Spirit Award

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Bruce Leslie

On Wednesday, October 12, Bruce Lesley will be honored with the inaugural Karabelle Pizzigati Spirit Award.

Lesley is a longtime child advocate who has spent his career working in the government on policy issues related to health care, education, human services and immigration. He is being recognized for his policymaking, child advocacy, and the contributions his organization, First Focus on Children, has made to the Karabelle Pizzigati Initiative fellows' development this past year. 

The fellows who worked at First Focus on Children experienced an opportunity to advance their professional development and future careers working to improve policy for children and their families, as well as the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Pizzigati, said Brandi Slaughter, program director of the Karabelle Pizzigati Initiative.

Pizzigati was an avid advocate for children and dedicated her life to improving the lives of children and youth. In her honor, the Karabelle Pizzigati Initiative at the University of Maryland created the Karabelle Pizzigati Spirit Award. The award recognizes and celebrates advocates who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of children, while developing the next generation of leaders who will advance policy that will strengthen children and their families. This award will be given annually to an individual, group or organization that embodies Pizzigati’s passion for child advocacy. 

"Bruce takes seriously the charge to develop the next generation of leaders in children's advocacy,” Slaughter said. “A fellowship placement at First Focus means exposure to critical issues that impact children. He gives students the space to grow and contribute. We are honored to present him this award."

The award will be presented during the Inaugural Karabelle Pizzigati Lecture on Children’s Advocacy on October 12 from 3:00-4:30 pm at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, Room 3301. Register to attend here

Students interested in the Karabelle Pizzigati Initiative fellowship should apply by November 2.

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