Eastern Bank Foundation colleagues stand with this year's Community Advocacy Award honorees

Eastern Bank Foundation Recognizes & Convenes Early Childhood Development Leaders From Across the Region

April 15, 2024

BOSTON, MA – Recently, Eastern Bank Foundation (EBF), the philanthropic arm of Eastern Bank, brought together their 2024 Community Advocacy Award (CAA) honorees for a solutions-driven conversation and award ceremony. This year’s 14 awardees are leaders in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and serve children and families across our region – from New Hampshire, the Merrimack Valley and Boston to Greater Boston and Cape Cod. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, EBF’s annual CAA awards select and spotlight outstanding nonprofit leaders and organizations that focus on the most critical needs of our communities. Through 2024, Eastern Bank Foundation has recognized more than 100 community leaders. In addition to the celebration and conversation, each organization was awarded a grant.

This year's dynamic roundtable discussion covered many aspects of the ECD ecosystem – focusing on its role as critical infrastructure to support the healthy development of children, economic mobility for families, strong communities, and statewide economic and workforce competitiveness – especially for our region’s historically underserved communities. 

Collectively, this year’s honorees and their dedicated teams, deliver a wide variety of key services, caring partnerships, and the leadership needed most by our communities including early education, childcare, childhood and family trauma support, programs for economic equity and mobility, homelessness and housing insecurity, and mental health and wellness. These vital areas of work align with EBF’s focus on supporting community vibrancy and helping people prosper, including enriching early childhood development as part of its strategy to advance economic inclusion and mobility more broadly.

This year's honorees include:

Kate Barrand, President & CEO, Horizons for Homeless Children

Lauren Birchfield Kennedy and Sarah Siegel Muncey, Co-Presidents, Neighborhood Villages

Sue Covitz, Executive Director, and Magda Rodriguez, Sr. Director of National Strategy, Families First

Maria Gonzalez Moeller, CEO, The Community Group

Michael LaChance, CEO, YMCA of Greater Nashua

Sandra McCroom, President and CEO, Children’s Services of Roxbury

Margaret McDonald, CEO, Clarendon Early Education Services

Amy O’Leary, Executive Director, Strategies for Children

Noëlle Pina, Chief of Staff, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

Jeri Robinson, Advisor, Boston Children's Museum & Chair Boston School Committee

Crystal Rountree, Chief Executive Officer, Jumpstart

Aditi Subramaniam, Associate Director, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Find details on each honoree and their organization and work here.

“The leaders and organizations honored with our Community Advocacy Awards this year are making a historic impact as they work to build post-pandemic economic and social equity and intergenerational mobility for both children and families,” said Nancy Huntington Stager, President & CEO of Eastern Bank Foundation. “For our region to be an attractive and sustainable place to live, work and raise families, we must have accessible, high-quality Early Childhood Development programs that give our children the strongest start possible; provide affordable, trusted care so that parents and grandparents can achieve their potential in our workforces; and a system that offers Early Childhood Development professionals the wages and opportunities they need to thrive. Without this, we risk the present and future strength of our communities, our workforce, and our regional economy.”

About Eastern Bank Foundation

Eastern Bank Foundation, celebrating 30 years in 2024 as the philanthropic arm of Eastern Bank, actively listens to and collaborates with our neighbors and fellow change-makers across nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors to further community vibrancy and promote systems change. We invest with community-led organizations working to build economic inclusion, mobility and social justice in four strategy areas–advancing equity in the small business ecosystem, enriching early childhood development, securing safe and affordable housing, and promoting workforce development for adults facing barriers to employment. Knowing the roots of social and economic injustice are as stubborn as they are old, we employ a variety of levers–Philanthropy, Employee Volunteerism, Advocacy and Collaboration–to lift up and rise with our communities, especially in our region’s Gateway Cities. Learn more here.

Media Contact:
Jennifer McNeil
Eastern Bank Foundation
[email protected]

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