Champions for Children

Champions for Children


Presented by:
TD Bank

The Children’s Trust Champions for Children Awards Ceremony honors individuals and programs that have achieved greatness in their service to children and families. This annual, signature event has become one of the most anticipated within the community of child advocates and throughout Miami-Dade County, and serves as an inspiration to others to follow in the path of our award recipients.

This year's Champions for Children Awards Ceremony was held on May 24, 2022, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., and celebrated those making a difference in the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. 

To see pictures from the 16th Annual Champions for Children Award Ceremony, click here

To watch videos of the honorees, click here


David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award

This annual award is bestowed on an individual for a lifetime of notable achievement and dedication to children in Miami-Dade County. These achievements over time should display a depth of commitment to children’s causes that have resulted in lasting, systemic impact. By providing recognition to someone who has dedicated considerable time, knowledge, expertise or resources on behalf of children, The Trust hopes to motivate others to work toward improving the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. Board members and staff of The Trust are not eligible. Nominations are received from the local community at large, reviewed internally, and a Board committee selects the honoree. Past honorees include Chief Community Services Officer and Former Director of Juvenile Services for Miami-Dade County Morris Copeland, Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson; Judge Cindy Lederman; FL state Sen. René García; immigrant rights advocate Cheryl Little; FL state Sen. Nan Rich; autism expert Dr. Michael Alessandri; FL state Sen. Rudy García; Judge William Gladstone; Miami Mayor Manny Díaz; and Tracy and Alonzo Mourning, among others.

2022 Honoree:
Gale Nelson
Big Brothers Big Sisters


Excellence in Direct Service Award

This award recognizes an employee (not a manager or executive director) of a program or initiative funded by The Children's Trust whose primary duties are to provide direct service to children and families. Honoree is an inspiration to other workers and consistently performs above and beyond their job description to serve the children and families of Miami-Dade. They willingly take on the extra load, extend a third and fourth helping hand and goes the extra mile. They exemplify the belief that the human element makes a difference in the lives of others and recognizes that the human touch must be extended far beyond the confines of a standard workday. Nominations are received from the community at large and a Board committee selects the honoree. Past honorees include Ned Edwards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, Mentor and A Cappella Group Leader Michelle Forman, and Director of Theatre for Young Audiences at Actors’ Playhouse Earl Maulding.

2022 Honoree:
Francine Andersen
Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs


Excellence in Public Policy Award

The excellence in public policy award recognizes a nominee's stewardship and advocacy for our children and families in our community.  Past honorees include the FL state Rep. Nicholas X. Duran, Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez and FL state Sen. René García.

2022 Honoree:
Rep. Vance Aloupis
Florida House of Representatives


Program of the Year Award

Three Trust-funded programs are recognized for their level of quality in service delivery. Honorees show a deep dedication to the delivery of quality curricula to children. Nominations are received from Trust staff and a Board committee selects the honorees. Past honorees include Be Strong International's Parenting Program, FLIPANY, Kristi House's Project GOLD, Centro Mater After-School Program, Easter Seals Culinary Arts Program, and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital School Health Services.

2022 Honorees:
Advocacy Network on Disabilities
Mexican American Council
Overtown Youth Center


2022 Gold Sponsors
City National Bank FIU Center for Children and Families Miami Dolphins Foundation
PNC Bank University of Miami  
2022 Silver Sponsors
ACentral Citrus Family Care Network Community Care Plan
CHI - Community Health of South Florida Greenberg Traurig Jessie Trice Community Health System
Key Biscayne Community Foundation Nicklaus Children's Hospital
2022 Bronze Sponsors
Baptist Health The de Moya Foundation United Way of Miami-Dade
2022 Partner Sponsors
Armstrong Creative Armstrong Creative BoardroomPR
HistoryMiami Museum Our Children Have Rights United Teachers of Dade