RaiseAChild CEO Richard Valenza Nominated for Diversity Award
Finalists To Be Featured in Los Angeles Business Journal March 24
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LOS ANGELES, March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- RaiseAChild CEO and Founder Richard Valenza is a nominee for CEO of the Year in Los Angeles Business Journal's annual Diversity Awards, and will be profiled in the newspaper's March 22 edition.
Valenza, 62, says he appreciates the renewed attention to the organization that he founded after attending a county adoption training session 15 years ago that offered no specialized insight or support for a gay soon-to-be dad like himself.
"As a gay man, I wondered most of my life whether I could have a family and how would I do that, and when I attended the one-size-fits-all orientations, I was lost," recalls Valenza. "At that time, I found nothing within the training classes to welcome, encourage, or inspire LGBTQ+ prospective foster and foster-to-adopt parents to join the effort to help children and youth in foster care."
He decided to work with L A County to help create a more inclusive and supportive environment by involving other parents from the LGBTQ+ community like himself with the insights and guidance that new parents need and crave.
Much as Valenza has evolved as a parent (his adopted children, Joseph and Melody, are now 20 and 19), the movement he started has caught on. RaiseAChild has become a national leader in the recruitment and support of LGBTQ+ and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and fostering-to-adopt to meet the needs of the 440,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. It will soon announce an expansion into 11 additional counties across the state.
"For most of RaiseAChild's ten-year history we worked nationally with a heavy concentration in Los Angeles County," Valenza said. "Now we are ready to share our experience and supportive services with parents and foster agencies up and down the state."
The Los Angeles Business Journal's Diversity, Inclusion + Equity Awards spotlight companies and individuals who have shown an exceptional commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace and business leadership.
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