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Pathways to Empowerment Award Recipients

Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award & Charles Crittenton Community Partner Award

Dr. Kate Waller Barret Advocacy Award Recipient: Suzanne Banning

About Dr. Kate Waller Barrett

Dr. Kate Waller Barrett (January 24, 1857 – February 23, 1925) was a humanitarian, philanthropist, and social reformer. While raising six children

and opening a shelter for unwed mothers, she earned a Medical Degree and a Doctor of Science. In 1895, Dr. Barrett joined Charles Nelson Crittenton to co-found the National Florence Crittenton Mission, and they established rescue homes for unwed mothers across the country. More than 70 Crittenton homes operated in the United States and abroad at the time of her death.

In 1909, Dr. Barrett became the Mission’s President and ignited the movement of supporting girls and young women, including women of color. Her advocacy efforts and leadership also supported girls and young women beyond the walls of the Crittenton homes. A few of her many accomplishments include:

  • Partnering with John D. Rockefeller to create an anti-trafficking film, Traffic in Souls;
  • Voted President of the National Council of Women;
  • Appointed a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention; and
  • Appointed as special agent of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration for her anti-sex trafficking and advocacy changing the way girls and young women were treated while in custody.

2024 Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award Winner, Suzanne Banning

The Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award is given to an individual who supports the empowerment of young mothers and their children in our community – a modern-day champion of the work of one of our founders and the award’s namesake. Florence Crittenton Services is thrilled to honor Suzanne Banning as the 2024 recipient. Suzanne served as President & CEO of Florence Crittenton Services from 2014-2022 and exemplifies what it means to put FloCrit moms and their children first, always. Her eight-year tenure at the helm of the organization represents a breakthrough period for FloCrit, a time in which our programs and services grew with fidelity and depth to comprehensively wrap around FloCrit families.

Suzanne led us through our Building for Teen Family Success Capital Campaign that raised over $1,000,000 to expand the Early Childhood Education Center, increasing our licensing age range and doubling our capacity, allowing FloCrit to serve over 100 children ages 6-weeks through Pre K. She was pivotal in adding the Alethia E. Morgan School Based Health Center to the Florence Crittenton High School building that opened in 2015, in partnership with both Denver Health and the Colorado Health Foundation.

Suzanne dedicated herself to breaking down barriers for teen families, both at FloCrit and across the state, and her advocacy resulted in the creation of the Teen Parent Collaborative, a unified community of organizations that strives to build capacity and connection for its members and advocate for teen parents and their children. She testified at the State Capitol on behalf of teen families, early childhood educators, and early childhood providers countless times, and is known as a thoughtful and passionate leader by her peers. One of the advocacy efforts that yielded a community solution was having a mobile DMV on campus as well as having collaborative funding through the TPC to support teen families in receiving support to attain their driver license. Through Impact 2025, FloCrit’s strategic plan that she was instrumental in creating, the organization focused on Optimizing programs and services, Activating our resources and our community, and Growing to reach more families in a deeper way. Her strategic leadership through the pandemic focused on continuing to serve moms and kids and maintaining the staff and capacity to meet the evolving needs of our community through those very challenging years.

The FloCrit that Suzanne shaped and developed over the last decade is the foundation on which the organization sits today: strong, impactful, financially healthy. She led with tenacity, energy, and heart, and serves as an example of how one individual can impact countless lives through their advocacy and leadership. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Suzanne will be receiving the Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award during Pathways to Empowerment in April.

Charles Crittenton Community Partner Award Recipient: The Colorado Health Foundation

About Charles Crittenton

Charles Nelson Crittenton (February 20, 1833 – November 16, 1909) was a businessman and social Philanthropist who, in partnership with Dr. Kate Waller Barrett, founded the National Florence Crittenton Mission to advocate for the empowerment of young women. Charles made his money in the pharmaceutical business in New York City, but upon the death of his youngest daughter, Florence, age 4 at the time of her death in 1882, he found himself inspired to commit himself and his fortune to catalyze social change. He dreamed of a national network of homes for young women and girls committed to changing their lives and set up the original Florence Crittenton Night Mission in New York City in 1883. After meeting Dr. Kate Waller Barrett in 1893, already running her own women’s home in Washington D.C., the two united their shared dreams of advocating for the rights of young women to enjoy the same opportunities as men – to change their lives and support themselves and their families.  

From 1893 until his death in 1909, Charles lived on his “Good News” train car, traversing the country speaking and founding homes for women and young girls. The National Florence Crittenton Mission became the first charitable organization to receive a Congressional Charter in 1898, and Charles served as the first President. Under his leadership, National Florence Crittenton expanded to over 70 homes during his lifetime, and included international homes in Marseille, Tokyo, Shanghai and Mexico City. At his death, he left the maximum permitted by New York of his estate to perpetuate his work with young women in communities around the world.  

The Charles Crittenton Community Partner Award is given each year to a FloCrit partner organization that demonstrates Charles’ relentless support of the potentials of young mothers and their children through partnership and promotion. Charles dedicated his life to building opportunities for young women so that their potentials wouldn’t be limited by a lack of access to recognized essentials: education and housing.  

2024 Charles Crittenton Community Partner Award Winner, The Colorado Health Foundation

The Charles Crittenton Community Partner Award is given to an individual or institution that supports the work of Florence Crittenton Services through partnership and collaboration. Named after one of our founders, Charles Crittenton, awardees embody Charles’s spirit of social enterprise, philanthropy, and community citizenship. Florence Crittenton Services is proud to honor the Colorado Health Foundation as our 2024 recipient. The Colorado Health Foundation has been funding Florence Crittenton Services for twenty years, beginning with a grant for out Student and Family Support Program, then called our “Young Families Program.” Since then, they have invested over $1.7 million dollars into the programs and services on our campus, advancing our collective missions to improve the health and lives of teen moms and their children through education, preparation, and empowerment.  

In 2015, The Colorado Health Foundation played an integral part in transforming the FloCrit campus into a full-service nexus for teen families by funding the first three years of start-up operational costs of our Denver Health School-Based Health Center, effectively making it possible to open the health clinic on our campus. Since its opening, the Alethia E. Morgan, MD School Based Health Clinic has grown to include pre-natal, post-partum, and pediatric health care services, mental health care including psychiatry, and a dental clinic capable of both preventative and restorative oral health care. FloCrit moms and kids who previously missed a full day of school for doctors’ appointments can now easily schedule appointments on campus and miss minimal instructional time and practice navigating the health care system with supportive and empowering staff whom they know care deeply about them and their health.  

The Colorado Health Foundation takes a necessarily broad approach to health equity and, beyond supporting the development of and ongoing delivery of wraparound services, has also supported FloCrit moms and kids through our Warren Village FirstStep housing partnership, recognizing the importance of safe and stable housing in health, economic well-being, and dignity. As we continue to expand on our vision of healthy, thriving teen families, we are grateful to have partners like The Colorado Health Foundation advancing a complementary vision and partnering on the work to see it to fruition.