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Lillian Bittaye
Founder & CEO, Sojourner Truth Observational Study Hometel, Inc.

My name is Ms. Lillian Yvonne Bittaye, a 62-year old Educational Consultant and Radio Personality, who has 4 children and 9 grandchildren, that has been advocating for children’s rights since 1977, starting with becoming a Big Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, to a 5 year old child whose mother was recently divorced. In 1979, after giving birth to my youngest child, realized she was not receiving the proper care in a hospital day care, and started my own 24- hour registered family day care home entitled “Loving Childcare.” After being informed that many providers would be required to obtain a special use permit, in order to continue to provide services, I developed the first Metro Atlanta Family Day Care Association, along with several other child care providers, before applying to become a substitute teacher for Fulton County.

During the summer of 1989, traveled to Groton, Connecticut for vacation and discovered that a friends’ niece had left her newborn child with a neighbor, in search of drugs, and lost custody of him. I applied to become a licensed foster parent, having 15 foster children placed in my home over a 2 year period. As I returned back home to Kansas City in 1992 to care for an ailing parent, was confronted with my daughter being assaulted on the way to school one morning, and that was officially the beginning of a life of child advocacy.

For the next several years, I found myself developing programs such as summer camps, alternative school initiatives, after school programs, community events, anti-crime marches, drug rallies, prayer vigils, and community forums that would address almost every viable aspect of a child’s life, from birth to age 18. These are just a few of the issues that have motivated me to engage in this type of work. My hope is that by accepting the invitation to become and advocate for the Afterschool Community Champions program, that I will once again be recognized as the “One Crying in the Wilderness,” on behalf of those little voices that are yet to be heard.