Turning Points for Children Hosts Annual Kids at Heart Gala

on 10 September 2020

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

Turning Points for Children Hosts Annual Kids at Heart Gala 

Virtual “Light Up the Night” event shines a spotlight on families made stronger and futures made brighter

PHILADELPHIATurning Points for Children, a subsidiary of Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), held its annual Kids at Heart Gala on Thursday, September 10. The virtual 2020 “Light up the Night” program was hosted by NBC10 News Anchor Keith Jones and honored Richard J. Cohen, President & CEO of PHMC; PECO and Mike Innocenzo, President & CEO of PECO; and Rakia Reynolds, Founder & CEO of Skai Blue Media for their impact on underserved communities in the region.  

“Each year, the Kids at Heart Gala acknowledges the impactful work that takes place every day through the dedicated staff at Turning Points for Children. It’s also an opportunity to honor exemplary members of the Philadelphia community who embody the mission,” said Dawn Holden Woods, Chief Social Services Officer at PHMC and past CEO at Turning Points for Children. “We all know through our own lived experience that a pandemic is a dark place, and so are things like food insecurity, racial injustice, and not having a home. Turning Points has been providing the light of hope for individuals impacted by these dark places and is dedicated to creating brighter futures is more important than ever.”    

Richard J. Cohen was recognized with the 2020 Trailblazer award for leading one of the largest and most innovative public health organizations in the nation. Known as a social entrepreneur throughout his career, Richard is a visionary leader who has helped innovate the field of public health and not-for-profit management. He was honored for his steadfast dedication to the mission and enduring commitment to ensuring the well-being of PHMC staff and the community during this COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m incredibly humbled to be recognized by Turning Points for Children, an asset to the PHMC family and an organization dedicated to supporting local families,” said Cohen. “The inclusive team at Turning Points is doing a better and better job at finding the answers to real issues for vulnerable populations and creating public health responses that will best serve people for generations to come.”

PECO and Mike Innocenzo were recognized for their commitment to customers, engagement in the community and for providing an innovative approach to improve access to safe and reliable electric and natural gas resources, especially during COVID-19. 

Rakia Reynolds, Founder & CEO of Skai Blue Media, was honored for her commitment to the leaders of tomorrow. She currently serves as a founding board member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Women in Film & Technology, The Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia and The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. 

Turning Points for Children employees shared stories of change and inspiration at the event. Justin Williams, Associate Director of Foster Care, CUA 10; Louis GrowMiller, Senior Director, Family Services; Cydney Dasent, Operations Director, CUA 10; and Darrel Smith, Jr., Director of Community and Intervention, CUA 10 all shared their experience as members of the Turning Point’s team. Victoria Mathis, Victoria Mathis, Project F.A.M.! Coordinator, received the Turning Point Award, the organization’s annual employee recognition award.  

Turning Points for Children has been in existence for 180 years and serves more than 17,000 vulnerable men, women and children through a continuum of care rooted in evidence-based programming and high-quality care. By connecting children and their caregivers to primary care, behavioral health, financial services, parenting programs, workforce readiness and early childhood education, the organization is committed to providing a holistic, client-centered approach to delivering services. This past year, Turning Points helped 892 foster care children find their forever homes; supported 1,500 foster care families and helped 272 homeless young adults find stabilized housing.

All proceeds from “Light up the Night” will benefit Turning Points for Children programs and support its mission to build stronger families and brighter futures. Additional information on Turning Points for Children is available at https://www.turningpointsforchildren.org/

About Turning Points for Children

Turning Points for Children provides proven, innovative programs that nurture families with children who are struggling against difficult economic and environmental odds. The Turning Points for Children approach includes after-school family programs, teen parent education, and assistance to relative caregivers and in-home services for vulnerable children who may be in imminent risk of child abuse or neglect. Turning Points for Children provides the critical resources, life skills and supportive partnerships needed to create stronger families and raise children with the hope for brighter futures.

About PHMC 

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices and evidence-based guidelines to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit www.phmc.org.