Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, during the State Board of Education Meeting, First Lady Casey DeSantis provided updates on the Children & Youth Cabinet and her Hope for Healing initiative and presented the Courage, Commitment and Compassion Award to child abuse survivor Phillip Adams.

“I want to commend Phillip Adams for lending his voice to the countless children who suffer abuse and cannot advocate for themselves,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “His story is compelling and a testament to the mentorship provided every day by our teachers to students who are struggling. Philip’s advocacy for mentorship as a key tool to promoting and supporting mental wellbeing and resiliency in our children and youth will continue to make a lasting impact across Florida.”

“First Lady Casey DeSantis continues to fight for the well-being of all Florida’s students and is laser-focused in her mission to help all children become resilient and persevere through any of life’s challenges,” said Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

“First Lady Casey DeSantis has shown time and time again her passion for helping Florida’s students and families,” said State Board of Education Chair Andy Tuck. “Her work has established better cross-agency coordination and bolsters student’s long-term resiliency. I applaud her continued efforts, and look forward to our continued collaboration to ensure all Florida students receive a world-class education.”

Phillip Adams is a 43-year-old father of seven originally from Boston, Massachusetts. As a survivor of child abuse, he understands and speaks to the importance of schools as a safe haven for abused and at-risk youth.

Launched in 2019, First Lady DeSantis created the Courage, Commitment and Compassion Award to recognize those who live by the Golden Rule and exemplify kindness through their actions. For more information about Florida’s coordinated mental health initiative, Hope for Healing, please visit https://hopeforhealingfl.com/.



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