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CCRC congratulates new First 5 CA leader as a “terrific advocate”

The work CCRC does to strengthen and empower children, families and child care providers depends in part on support from dedicated community partners. One of our partners, First 5 California, just announced Jackie Thu-Huong Wong as its new Executive Director. CCRC would like to welcome and congratulate Jackie on her exciting appointment.

“Jackie is a terrific advocate for children and those with the greatest need. Her appointment is a win for families, who deserve such a dedicated advocate,” says CCRC President & CEO Dr. Michael Olenick. “She shares CCRC’s vision of strong children and families and we’re excited to work more closely with her to achieve those goals.”

As the first immigrant and woman of color to serve in this role, Jackie says she is thrilled to lead First 5 California with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. She is a trained social worker, has 30 years of professional advocacy experience, and previously served as Chief Deputy Director for First 5 California. Like CCRC, Jackie strives to advance the emotional, physical, and educational well-being of children and families.

“Over the years I have worked with Jackie on strategies to address issues which impact young children including child care, foster care and poverty,” says CCRC Chief Strategy Officer Donna Sneeringer. “Jackie is a passionate advocate for young children and their families and will bring tremendous energy and expertise to First 5 California and I am excited to continue to partner with her.”

Most recently, Jackie served as the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at GRACE, Inc., which works to reduce child poverty in California. Outgoing Executive Director Camile Maben said Jackie’s efforts to support children in a comprehensive way makes her a great fit for this role. “Ms. Wong’s whole child/whole family/whole community approach – fueled by a lifelong commitment to equity and justice – is key for change that so many of our children need,” says Camile.

“I am truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve California as the next Executive Director for First 5 CA and to lead the organization in this new era,” says Jackie Thu-Huong Wong. “Growing up as a refugee, my parents instilled in me the importance of staying rooted in the history of our lived experiences and to center that in my service to others. I am honored to be working with a Commission and staff who are dedicated to ensuring that children 0-5, their families and communities are provided the best opportunities to live, learn and thrive.”

 “First 5 has been a long-time advocate for children and families in California and with Jackie’s leadership, I believe her expertise will support our shared vision of a thriving community,” says Donna.

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