The GRANDPerson of the Year Award for 2016 goes to former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in recognition of the powerful positive impact her work has had on the lives of children and families
Hillary Clinton’s work for the rights and well-being of children and families spans four decades, beginning when she took a college internship to study the education and health needs of migrant workers. After graduating from Yale Law School, she went to work with the Children’s Defense Fund where she took on a special project to help research and support the case for legislation that would provide education for children with disabilities.
She went on to co-found Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and as First Lady of Arkansas, her primary focus included improving access to healthcare and early education.
As First Lady of the U.S., Clinton helped spearhead the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) leading to health coverage for more than eight million children. CHIP today stands as a model for providing cost-effective preventive and early intervention health services for children.
During her tenure as a two-term Senator from New York, Clinton worked with Democrats and Republicans to secure better access to health care for members of the Reserves and the National Guard. She repeatedly introduced bills to assist grandparents and other relatives taking over primary caretaker responsibilities for children.
Internationally, she has led the way in standing up for the rights of women. Her speech in Beijing in 1995, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, resonates as a turning point in the worldwide struggle to change laws and customs that deny rights to women. Her focus on the needs of vulnerable children and families went global when, as Secretary of State, she worked to fight sex trafficking and successfully convinced the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to stop sexual violence against women and children in conflict zones.
Role Model: though it is far from over, Clinton’s career has already served as an inspiration for all ages of women and girls, and she stands as an example for today’s grandparents of what is possible in this ‘grand stage’ of life.
Hillary Clinton became a grandmother in October 2014 and again in June 2016.