Board Member Spotlight: Orlando Perez- Prevention Hero!
Blog by Karen Rush, Executive Director
Children’s Center Board Member Orlando Perez is committed to the idea that it takes a village to raise happy and healthy children! If you spend any amount of time with him, you are sure to hear him talk about how important it is that every person knows how important they can be to the life of a child. Orlando truly lives and breathes the Children’s Centers vision that together with our community, we can build a world where all children feel safe, valued, and heard. We are thrilled to shine the spotlight on him during April for Child Abuse Prevention Month because of his extraordinary commitment to the prevention of child maltreatment.
Orlando joined the Children’s Center’s Board of Directors four and half years ago after learning about the mission from his good friend and founding Board member, John Foote, the former Clackamas County District Attorney. Given his passion for creating caring environments where all children thrive, Orlando knew this was a place he wanted to support. He somehow fits his commitments to Children’s Center in with his busy work and family life and his participation on other boards. Orlando shared that he centers his life around the well-being of children. It is easy to see that from his involvement as a Pediatric Nurse and member of the Board of Directors for North Clackamas School District, Prevent Child Abuse Oregon, and Scouters Mountain Parent Teacher Association.
Prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) is clearly a passion for Orlando. He believes that many risk factors for child abuse can be mediated upstream. For example, more education and awareness about the programs and resources available to the community is particularly important. Orlando is a trained facilitator of Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children curriculum and is a member of our Prevention and Community Engagement Committee – often making sure that others know how they can help and encouraging people to learn as much as they can. Orlando told me, “It takes courage to go up to people you don’t know, but it can lead to great discussions about how we can prevent child abuse and what Children’s Center does. Then they become resource literate, can ask questions, and share what they know and get others involved. It takes a village to care for children, but everyone in the village has to show up.”
I asked Orlando what he would want to share if he could have the whole world’s attention for 15 seconds. Without hesitation, he said, “It’s always about the children. Every breath we take, our every thought should be about our children, all of our children.”
Orlando lives in Clackamas with his wife Priscilla and his two children, ages 10 and 13. He is originally from the beautiful balmy city of Buffalo NY but has lived in Oregon for more than two decades. After serving as a medic in the United States Air Force, he became a Registered Nurse. He works at Legacy Health Systems, first as a pediatric nurse at Randall Children’s Hospital and now as an RN Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialist. Orlando loves to visit the Children’s Center and often brings us treats from his favorite cake place, “Nothing Bundt Cakes” in Happy Valley.
Please join me in thanking Orlando for his service to our community! We are grateful for the inspiration he provides to make our community a better place for everyone.