Strengthening Families Washington 2017 Unsung Hero Johnnie Westergreen
2017 Unsung Hero Johnnie Westergreen
Seattle's Child is proud to once again sponsor the Unsung Heroes being honored in February by the Department of Early Learning’s Strengthening Families Washington. Every day this month we'll present an Unsung Hero on seattleschild.com. Nominations are accepted from around the state and include biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofit organizations; some mentor others in their communities. All honorees are true heroes - outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.
February 7, 2017
Honoree: Johnnie Westergreen, Everett
Nominator: Sharyl Workman
Johnnie is a parent, caregiver, foster parent and adoptive parent. YES, she is all of those things. A hero to so many…
Johnnie has overcome many obstacles over the years, including drug addiction and homelessness. Many years ago she was able to complete a treatment program that put her on the path to recovery and her life as she knows it today. She secured housing, but her best friend and “drug buddy” was not so lucky as her life took a turn for the worse. Johnnie’s hard work and resiliency enabled her to not only keep and care for her friend’s children in her home but also to eventually adopt them.
In the years since, Johnnie has completed her degree in Early Childhood Development and has become a childcare provider at the only licensed child care facility for homeless children in the state. Daily she provides learning, support and love to these children.
Johnnie takes her mission one step further by fostering children and loving them as if they were her own. She has adopted one already, is in the process of adopting her second and is caring for two additional foster kids. These two brothers have been in and out of her home for years as their mother battles drug addiction and mental illness.
Every day she is building protective factors for her birth children, for her foster children, for her adoptive children and for all the children that have been and will be in her care. I am nominating this remarkable, loving woman for an Unsung Hero award because her accomplishments deserve to be sung to the world!