Georgia’s First Steps Coordinator of the Year

Friday, October 29th, 2021

Congratulations to Lauralen Avery, UWCG’s First Steps Community Coordinator, for being named Georgia’s First Steps Coordinator of the Year.
First Steps Georgia is a parental support system of care that offers families resources to start babies and young children on a path toward a good future. It is often said that “the early years last a lifetime” so through our First Steps service families are encouraged to act now and invest in the future successes of their children. Prenatal mothers and ALL families with babies and children under 5 are eligible for First Steps.
Lauralen joined UWCG in June of 2015. Over the years, she has built the First Steps Program capacity by training and supervising additional PT screeners, numerous interns, and volunteers. She is adept at meeting groups who are interested in the First Steps outcomes and welcoming them to contribute by doing volunteer activities such as making “welcome baby baskets.” She has helped with diaper giveaway events and many more activities. When the Pandemic hit, and she was no longer able to meet moms in the hospital, she became quickly creative in finding ways to obtain referrals so that moms could continue to receive First Steps services to ease the stress. She has actively worked with other community partners to help provide solutions to the ever-increasing cost of diapers and to make sure that parents and caregivers can appropriately use cribs and car seats. 
“This is a well-deserved recognition. Lauralen joined United Way of Central Georgia six years ago to start our First Steps program, and she quickly built it into one of the top-performing First Steps programs in Georgia. The secret of her success is the genuine love and caring she has for the moms and their newborns in our community and is evidenced by her continually going above and beyond to creatively find ways to meet their most urgent needs,” said George McCanless, President and CEO of United Way of Central Georgia.