Citizen Advocacy Perspectives Summer 2018
706) 254-2972 ● firstname.lastname@example.org
P. O. Box 741
Athens, GA 30603
Meet Our New Associate Coordinator: Cecilia Lozada
I was born and raised in Athens. I attended Athens public schools and the University of Georgia. My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years and we have a one-year old son. I wanted to make a difference in our community and Citizen Advocacy has given me the opportunity to make a positive difference and to better Athens for all its citizens.
Growing up, there were people who were physically and intellectually disabled but I never really came face to face with more than the ones in my classrooms. Joining Citizen Advocacy in July helped me see the needs in my community. Hearing the stories from the men and women over the last month has opened my eyes. Seeing the hope in the eyes of parents when we tell them we’ll find an advocate for their child, the light comes back into the eyes of a man struggling to overcome his past, and the love that our advocates and protégés have for each other, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Getting to meet our advocates, protégés, board members and other Coordinators around Georgia, and learning the history of Citizen Advocacy have been wonderful experiences so far. I feel truly blessed to have been chosen to work for Citizen Advocacy Athens Clarke.
Coming Back Home
There are many people with disabilities who want to live independently in our community with support.
They can become our friends and neighbors if they are included as valued members of the community. Sharon was living independently in an apartment complex in the Athens area for a long time. One day, she knocked on the door of one of her neighbors and asked for some assistance. Since Diane was deeply concerned about her neighbor and contacted us on her behalf, we talked to Diane about becoming Sharon’s advocate and she accepted the invitation.
The relationship has blossomed over the years. Diane has invited her over to her apartment to hang out with her family and friends. Sharon has been accepted as a member of the family.
Sharon’s life was turned upside down by being moved by the state after her mother terminated guardianship. She was sent to an institution in Atlanta and one in Columbus and placed in personal care homes. Sharon contacted Diane about her situation and Diane immediately began advocating for her to return to Athens contacting Sharon’s court appointed guardian, case worker, providers and doctors.
It took a few years, but finally Diane learned from Sharon’s guardian that she can come back home. Diane was excited to pick her up and bring her back to Athens. Now settled in a new apartment, Sharon is relieved and thankful to be home again, and reassured to have a friend who will stand up for her.
What is a Citizen Advocate?
A valued citizen who is unpaid and independent of human
services creates a relationship with a person with a disability who is at risk of social exclusion. The citizen advocate chooses ways to understand, respond to, and represent that person’s interests as if they are the advocate’s own, thus bringing the gifts and concerns of that person into the circles of ordinary community life.
Thank You For Investing in Citizen Advocacy Athens This Year!
June Ball, John Lyndon, Barbara Benson, Nancy MacNair, Kate Blane, Ann Mahoney, Paul Brown, Alice Depass Miller, Murray and Ann Blum, Diane and Jamaica Miller, Mike and Ruth Bracewell, Don and Phyllis Nelson, Laura W. Carter, Glenn and Linda Pinholster, Priscilla Darley, Lawrence Pomeroy, Larry and Gail Dendy, Jessie Saladino, Dick Ferguson, Nancy Stangle, Barbara Fischer, Susan Tate, Johanna Gard’ner, Sue and Ed Wilde, Kay and Greg Garcia, Fern Williams, Edna and John Garst, John and Kathleen Gratzek, Jean Guard, John Hollis, Phillip Juras, Bruce and Jane King, David and Mary Kissel, Helen Kleiner, Douglas Lowry Citizen
Citizen Advocacy Athens Board of Directors and Staff
Susan Tate – President
Russell Edwards – Vice President
Barbara Benson- Secretary
Rufus Addison – Coordinator
Celia Lozada – Associate Coordinator