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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (October 5, 2017) – Local philanthropist Harvey Najim was awarded the Prevention and Early Intervention Community Leadership Award from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) last night. He was also named its 2017 Luminary during the Partners in Prevention Conference held in San Antonio Oct. 3-5 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk.

Nominated by United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County for his community leadership, charitable giving and generosity, and his chairmanship of the Children’s Agenda for Bexar County, Najim accepted the award, which pays tribute to individuals helping make bright futures possible for children, youth, families and communities. “Harvey Najim epitomizes what we all want and expect in a leader,” said Ed Rice, Executive Vice President of Partners for Community Change at United Way. “He is thoughtful, encouraging, and challenges our community to do what is right for children and families.”

The Prevention and Early Intervention Luminary Award is given to an individual at the discretion of the Associate Commissioner for Prevention and Early Intervention and is recognized for advancing the mission of the Prevention and Early Intervention division through: (1) exemplary action in support of a community-based or faith-based organization, coalition or initiative; (2) catalytic or sustaining contributions to a community-based or faith-based organization, coalition or initiative; (3) an enduring commitment to a community-based or faith-based organization, coalition or initiative; or (4) extraordinary contributions in any form to the division itself.

United Way’s ReadyKidSA Coalition, chaired by Najim, launched the Children’s Agenda for Bexar County in April 2017. Developed in collaboration with local early childhood education professionals, child development advocates, health professionals, community members, parents, and civic leaders, the goal of the Children’s Agenda is to set forth a far-reaching framework to better support local families to grow healthy, happy, and ready children.

As the Children’s Agenda for Bexar County chair, Najim spearheaded the work to create results and indicators to guide local early childhood work for children 0 to 8 years old.

“Harvey urged Children’s Agenda participants to dig deeper into root causes, specific solutions and hold partners accountable for their role in this important work,” said Rice.

A trailblazer in the technology industry, Najim founded Sirius Computer Solutions, which has become the nation’s leading IBM solution provider. He is also the immediate past Board Chair at United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

Engaged in a variety of children’s charities and initiatives throughout San Antonio, Najim has devoted his life to helping children and families, giving from his private foundation and through his personal finances. “As a leader in the community, Harvey not only dedicates his time and resources, but he also plays a crucial role in advocacy and encouraging other funders to invest in early childhood education. He holds United Way and other organizations accountable and expects outcomes and impacts to be proven if resources and time are invested in services,” said Rice.

The 2017 Partners in Prevention (PIP) Conference is the largest annual gathering of prevention and early intervention professionals in Texas. Now in its 17th year, PIP is an educational and networking event for parent educators, youth service providers, civic leaders, policy advocates, researchers, and others with a professional interest in child and family well-being, youth development and juvenile justice. Najim’s award embodies the goal and the spirit of the many individuals and organizations working together to reduce child abuse, enhance school readiness, improve social-emotional and physical health, and strengthen communities.

 

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