Highlighting innovations in advocacy efforts that improve the lives of children and families

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The Optimistic Advocate is always on the lookout for inspirational advocacy stories that lead to success. Be a part of the inspiration!

Mario Hernandez: Exemplary Leadership in Systems of Care

August 17, 2022 |

As a young college student, Mario was given a lead on a job at a research and training center for children’s mental health. It wasn’t remotely what he was interested in, but his wife said, “take the job; we need the money!” And the rest, as they say, is history.Mario Hernandez, former Chair of the…

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Honors Martin Rafferty’s Inspirational Life Journey

June 8, 2015 |

Martin Rafferty, Executive Director of Youth ERA (formerly Youth MOVE Oregon) is one of a small group of people worldwide being featured at the Launch of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. The Discovery Center is the Foundation’s newest exhibit. It aims to motivate and inspire people to take action—in their own unique ways—to improve…

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About me

Join me as I weave through the complicated world of advocacy. You can expect many insights from 40 years as an advocate, plenty of stories about mistakes, successes, and yep, more mistakes made along the way.