Alba Perez, Family Advocate Supervisor at CAAS Head Start, has been selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as one of the Commonwealth’s 100 “Unsung Heroines of 2011.” She will be honored at a State House ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, when she will receive a citation from Governor Deval Patrick.
Alba (Abby) Perez has worked at the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) Head Start program for almost 17 years, starting as a Family Advocate. For the last 15 years, she has supervised a team of Family Advocates and an Enrollment Specialist who help more than 350 low-income families in Somerville and Cambridge improve their lives. Parents turn to Perez and her team for resources like food and clothing, access to health care, nutrition education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages.
“No one could deserve this award more than Abby,” said Kimberly Smith-Cofield, Executive Director of CAAS. ”She perfectly fits the description of an unsung heroine: a woman who doesn’t make the news, but makes the difference. We at CAAS are extremely proud of Abby and happy for this public recognition of her work at CAAS.”
Perez was previously honored as Family Advocate Role Model of 1999 by Parents Plus and the Boston Parents’ Paper. Then and now, it was the staff she supervised who nominated her for the award. Perez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Cambridge College. She is also a Licensed Social Worker, Justice of the Peace, and Notary Public.
The mission of the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) is to reduce povertyamong local families and individuals while working to counteract, and whenever possible eliminate, the societal conditions that cause and perpetuate poverty. For more information, see www.caasomerville.org.