This is the fifth in a series of profiles on the 2015 Giraffe Award winners. Each Tuesday leading up to the Champions for Children Event, we will feature a profile on a 2015 Giraffe Award Winner and showcase how they “stick out their neck” for Maine children, youth and families. This week, we are pleased to introduce you to Sue Mackey Andrews.
Sue Mackey Andrews has dedicated her career and life to making Maine a state where children and families can thrive. From her early work at the Maine Department of Education to her Solutions Consulting Group, Andrews’ 30+ year career and volunteer services have been about “sticking her neck out” for children and families. While our understanding of early child development and Maine’s own policies and practices have greatly improved over the years, Andrews continues to seek out ways to make Maine a better place to be a kid and raise a family.
“I feel this very genuine sense of urgency right now about what we are doing, or not doing for kids and families in Maine…and, it isn’t just in Maine – but nationally. We seem to have lost our “center” about what really matters and how we go about supporting our most vulnerable populations.” – Sue Mackey Andrews
In 2012, Andrews co-founded and continues to serve as co-facilitator for the Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN), a collective impact network focused on better understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and promoting resilience in children, families and communities.
The group began as a project for the Maine Children’s Growth Council and takes a statewide, cross-sector and community-oriented approach to providing support for children with ACEs and their families. Andrews has been immensely successful in increasing awareness, informing policies, and training educators to address and support children with ACEs.
“Sue brings unrivaled passion, work ethic, and dedication to issues of early childhood adversity, early childhood screening, and the impact of poverty on families…It is rare to find an advocate with her level of consistency, policy knowledge, and evidence-informed practice.” – Leslie Forstadt, PhD University of Maine Cooperative Extension and co-founder/facilitator of MRBN.
It is clear that Andrews is so passionate about her work and has been instrumental in moving the needle on this critical issue for Maine children, families and communities. Her impressive career in the field of child and family development and policy has truly been defined by recognizing emerging issues and moving quickly and comprehensively to address them. Andrews does not just work at improving policies and practices for children and families, she lives it.
Sue Mackey Andrews will be awarded the 2015 Director’s Giraffe Award for her career in child and family advocacy and recent work with MRBN on October 27, 2015 at the Champions for Children Event. Andrews exemplifies how we can always be developing and implementing solutions for Maine kids and families.