United Way of Porter County presented Jennifer Wright with the Northwest Indiana Success By 6 Service to Youth Award at its Annual Celebration on March 11. Since its creation 4 years ago, the award has been given out annually to a professional or volunteer who has made a difference in the field of early childhood education.
Since 2012, Wright has been the Executive Director of Hilltop Neighborhood House in Valparaiso, which provides childcare, after school and summer programs for infants, toddlers and older children.
Wright’s efforts in the growth of early childhood development in Porter County include the creation of a kindergarten readiness program at Hilltop Neighborhood House. The program helps children ages 4 and 5 years old meet the core standards of the state curriculum and prepares them to make a smooth transition into kindergarten. This program works in conjunction with the kindergarten teachers and administration in the Valparaiso School System.
Before her work at Hilltop, Wright was the first United Way Success By 6 (SB6) Coordinator in Northwest Indiana. During her time as SB6 Coordinator, she brought to life the vision of 3 United Ways (United Way of Porter County, United Way of La Porte County and Lake Area United Way) to be an advocate for early childhood education and to focus attention and resources on improving the lives of children by helping them prepare for success in school.
“Jennifer has devoted her career to meeting the needs of young children and their families,” said Sharon Kish, UWPC CEO. “She provides leadership and advocacy in the Early Childhood field and constantly pushes herself and her staff to achieve the highest levels of quality and excellent service to children and their families. She truly makes a difference in the lives of children in Porter County, and we could not be happier to present the award to such a devoted and hard-working individual.”
Other related experience includes serving as the Director of a Residential Crisis Center for children, Director at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Denver, Colorado, and Resource Development Director at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Porter County.