Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina Presents Sonia de la Cruz with Parent Leadership Award

Morrisville, N.C. (March 28, 2023) — Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) announced on March 28 that Sonia de la Cruz is the recipient of its Parent Leadership Award. The award recognizes a parent who shows exemplary leadership in advocacy, family support, community service and collaboration. Award winners represent the “parent voice” that is critical to strengthening the future of North Carolina children, families and communities.

PCANC established the Parent Leadership Award in 2008 to recognize parents who take on leadership roles in their communities. De la Cruz was recognized for her dedication to supporting and advocating for families at risk or who have experienced violence and isolation. She immigrated with her family to North Carolina from the Dominican Republic five years ago. Despite facing many challenges, De la Cruz has become an advocate for herself, her children and her community. As an inaugural early childhood parent researcher for ISLA (Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition) NC, and an inaugural member of the Grown in Durham (Early Childhood Action Plan) steering committee, she has worked with parents, as well as providers working in family support, and developed recommendations on how to improve family support systems, prevent childhood trauma and promote child social-emotional health. She has leveraged her voice, leadership and lived experience to push institutional leaders to do more to support families most affected by the gaps and inequities in our early childhood systems.

Eulanda Thorne, Ms. Black NC, presented De la Cruz with the award in front of 350 child advocates and prevention experts during PCANC’s virtual Learning & Leadership Summit on March 28, 2023. In addition to the award, she received a $500 stipend to be used to further prevention efforts in her community.