This week’s guest blogger is Mary Kudless, a longtime member of SCAN’s Board of Directors and new Board President:

After several years of serving as an active Board member, I was elected by my peers to serve as President of the SCAN Board through June 30, 2013.  This is a great honor and—more importantly—a responsibility to support and strengthen the work of a wonderful organization. This will be done in tandem with our talented Executive Director, Sonia Quiñónez, and her mission-driven team of professional and knowledgeable staff, members of the Board, our extensive volunteer cadre and the community.

Today, after my first month as President, I reflect on the value of SCAN’s product, the gift, the “deliverable” that we offer to our Northern Virginia community and to the children and families whom we serve.  Our nation is grappling with the impact of abuse and violence in our society, as evidenced by the events at Penn State University and in Colorado. SCAN’s mission to highlight and improve our community’s awareness of the lifelong impact of child abuse and neglect and the tools for its prevention could not be more relevant.

In contrast to these tragic circumstances, we are witnessing the Olympic Games in London.  We are in awe of the skills of the U.S. athletes and their peers from around the world.  Many of the reporters have sought personal background information on athletes and relate numerous stories about the sacrifices that they and their parents have made.  The Olympics give us yet another chance to witness the power of parents to support the full potential and talents of their children, sometimes against seemingly impossible odds.

Parenting can be so powerfully positive and that is what we work to support!  Every year SCAN helps hundreds of parents to strengthen their relationships with their children and stop the cycle of abuse and neglect.

Our Board looks to our goals for 2012-2013:

  •  We will strive to support parents and caregivers in Northern Virginia through our parent education classes in Spanish and English and fundraising to expand our services in Loudoun and Prince William counties.
  • We will continue to support the staff and volunteers of our CASA program and their outstanding work with the Arlington and Alexandria Courts and the abused children in need of a voice.
  • We will seek to expand SCAN’s reach and impact in its community awareness and public education campaigns and be “the premier voice” for the message of prevention.
  • We will grow the Board’s financial support and reach out to SCAN’s Circle of Hope donors and volunteer supporters to join us in our effort to reach more families and new supporters in all five Northern Virginia communities
  • We will nurture our recently launched Council of Young Professionals who are off to a fabulous start as new advocates for SCAN’s mission and who will bring SCAN greater visibility in their professional and personal networks
  • We will support and honor the work of our outstanding director and staff by giving of our time and resources and by remaining focused on the strategic plan that we finalized this past year.

Next year, SCAN will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Planning is already underway for events and media that will not only celebrate the good work done so far, but set the path for a future in which children are safe and cherished and free to pursue their own dreams. Now that’s a pursuit worthy of Olympic-sized effort, and I believe SCAN is ready for the challenge.

— Mary

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