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The Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families (FMI) uses research to improve the lives of vulnerable children, youth, and families. We build innovative teams of scientists committed to tackling the most pressing issues facing families. We partner to put our research into the hands of families, community members and practitioners who are on the front lines of building family and youth resilience. We educate the next generation of scholars and community leaders.
The Frances McClelland Vision Awards were created to celebrate the legacy of Frances McClelland, who was a generous and tireless advocate for children, youth, and families, especially those experiencing adversity and injustice. Frances exemplified, supported, and celebrated resilience during her lifetime. The annual awards are given to those who share Francesʼ and FMIʼs vision of strong communities that support family resilience so that all children and youth, especially those who are most disadvantaged, have the opportunity to thrive. We also honor the legacy of another visionary leader in our community, Richard Elías, a longtime community advocate and leader, who served on the Pima County Board of Supervisors and the FMI Advisory Council.
The Frances McClelland Vision Award is given to honor a community leader who has made a lifelong commitment and significant contributions to the well-being of children, youth, and families. The community leader embodies the strength, dedication, vision, and passion that Frances McClelland exhibited throughout her life. This award is for a community leader who has dedicated their life and work to helping Frances McClelland’s legacy and vision come to fruition for the people of Southern Arizona and the world.
The community leader should have at least 15 years of established commitment to Frances’ legacy and vision of improving the lives of children, youth, and families in Southern Arizona and the world.
is given to honor an individual who works with the Southern Arizona community to build resilience, work for justice, and honor the beauty and heritage of our community and its members. As a champion of our unique Sonoran desert and its people, this individual exemplifies many of the admirable qualities of Richard Elías: a person who is dedicated and willing to take risks, who is approachable and open to everyone in the community, and who promotes equity and opportunity. Nominations of DACA recipients are encouraged.
The Frances McClelland Youth Vision Award is given to honor a youth leader or group of youth leaders who are working towards improving the well-being of children, youth, families, and communities. The youth embody the strength, dedication, vision, and passion that Frances McClelland exhibited throughout her life and youth. This award is for a youth leader or a group of leaders who inspire hope for Arizona’s future. Frances overcame adversity through her life and manifested resilience. We are looking for youth that embody Frances’ spirit of valuing her immigrant roots, overcoming adversity, and demonstrating resilience in the face of challenges. We are looking for youth who are interested in future careers in family, health, criminal justice, psychology, social work, healthcare, teaching, and other related fields.
The youth leader or group of leaders should be between 11-22 years old.
The Frances McClelland Spirit Organizational Award is given to a local organization that embodies the spirit, resilience, and legacy of Frances Helen McClelland. We are currently
Frances Helen McClelland (1923-2005) was a business leader, community leader, and philanthropist. She was a Tucson native, the first child of Irish immigrants who founded Shamrock Dairy. A 1946 graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in accounting, Frances was stricken with polio at a young age and she grew to understand vulnerability in the lives of children and families. Committed to understanding ways to improve the lives of children and families, she believed, in particular, in human potential: that when opportunities are accessible – particularly to people who are vulnerable – all people can reach their potential for a productive future.
To learn more about Frances McClelland, please click here.