Congress recognizes dedication to improving lives

David Johnston of the Connecticut-based Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence (CHERE) has been selected as a 2013 Angels in Adoption award recipient. The award is given on behalf of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) to those who have demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent, loving homes.

  Photo:   CHERE’s David Johnston withAlexandra (Lexie) Gruber, a member of the CHERE Advisory Board and a 2013 summer intern with the Congressional Adoption Institute, and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Photo:  CHERE’s David Johnston withAlexandra (Lexie) Gruber, a member of the CHERE Advisory Board and a 2013 summer intern with the Congressional Adoption Institute, and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Johnston is Director of CHERE, which aims to better understand and improve practices that lead to increased college retention for challenged students.  In addition to leading the development of the organization, which began operations this year, Johnston teaches First Year Introduction to freshman at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Social Welfare Policy at the University of Saint Joseph.

Each year, through the Angels in Adoption program, members of Congress are given the opportunity to select individuals, families or organizations from their district that have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need. Senator Richard Blumenthal has chosen to honor Johnston for his dedication to adoption and positive child welfare practices.

Angels in Adoption award recipients, including Johnston, were honored at an awards ceremony on October 8 and gala on October 9 in Washington, D.C. More than 140 local “angels” from around the country were recognized at the ceremony. The Angels in Adoption program is CCAI’s signature public awareness campaign to honor outstanding individuals who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and abroad.