A Message From The Team

Most nonprofits will admit it can be tough to find good board members. I consider us fortunate at Family Hope Foundation—we have a strong team. There have even been occasions when we’ve been approached by individuals looking to serve—now that’s a win.

Such was the case with Lucia Rios, who sent an initial message through our website. She was considering board service and was especially interested in helping us raise funds.

Music to my ears, I couldn’t call her fast enough.
Over coffee, we instantly connected with so many common passions. We talked about the organization and shared stories; we laughed—a lot, and Lucia committed to serving on Family Hope Foundation’s board. A big bonus as we wrapped up our coffee date—She invited me to be her plus-one at an upcoming special event—two wins!

It was a good day!

But I didn’t just enjoy Lucia’s company. I was immediately impressed by her accomplishments—she’s a mover and shaker.

She’s a humble soul, but it’s hard to overlook Lucia’s impressive resume and significant achievements. This year she was selected as the recipient of the Lakeshore Disability Network’s Ability Award.

The Ability Award honors people who persist in the vision of communities where people with disabilities can participate, contribute, and belong—this IS Lucia.

I could type out a list of reasons Lucia deserves this distinction. Instead, I decided to share her voice—to give you one small slice of her advocacy and how she enriches the community we live in.

“Attending a college with older buildings that lacked access updates, I missed my first college class because the elevator was broken. Ultimately the class was moved to the first floor.

Access became a huge passion of mine because I wanted to participate on campus, but I also started meeting others with disabilities who had the same frustrations.

I vowed not to tolerate living a life where I and others would be excluded from participating in the community and world. I set out to educate others so we’d create change and eliminate barriers. It’s important for the voices of people with disabilities to be heard.

I’ve never seen my disability as limiting what I can do, but instead, it’s given me many opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I connect in our community and speak out on important issues.

When you provide a person with disability accommodations, you’re not doing them a favor. Instead, it enables our community to get the best all individuals have to offer, making our community stronger.”

~Lucia Rios

Lucia is a natural leader with quiet confidence; she is a mentor to the next generation of advocates and has set the bar high!

She reminds us how each person is capable of creating change when they are willing to take risks and live into their passion.

Thank you,

Jane Eppard
Executive Director

P.S. Family Hope Foundation is stronger because Lucia brings her vision, advocacy, and experience to the Board of Directors.

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Every month, Family Hope Foundation’s team connects by sharing family stories, providing educational information, demonstrating ways to get involved, and more! Join us and see how the Gift of Ability helps bring hope to your community.