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Welcome Letter from Jessica Lawmaster

Dear PEPS Friends and Supporters,

It is with great pleasure that I greet you as the new PEPS Executive Director! As I reflect on my first month at PEPS, I am filled with gratitude and excitement. Last week I attended my first-ever PEPS benefit luncheon and was overwhelmed, not only by the generous support of more than 500 PEPS fans who helped us exceed our fundraising goal, but also by the sincere and warm welcome I received. Whether it was at the luncheon, or in other settings over the past few weeks, I am so touched by the kind greetings and enthusiasm shown to me by the PEPS community. I am honored to be associated with an organization that is so renowned for its impact and I am eager to work alongside the stellar PEPS team as we move forward into a dynamic season of growth and innovation.

I came to Seattle by way of Alaska, where I led an intervention and prevention center for survivors of child abuse and domestic violence for the past seven years. My career began more than ten years ago working with Children’s Advocacy Centers, where I forensically interviewed more than 700 victims of child abuse, ages 3 to 18. It was their stories that led me on a decade-long journey to discover what it is that children and families need to be healthy and safe, and to thrive. To put it simply, I believe the answer is: connection.

Whether connecting with oneself, one’s child, one’s neighborhood, or community, families build resilience through a sense of belonging, support, and understanding. When parents have access to knowledge, peer relationships, and community, they thrive, and we know that these resilience-building factors are most critical in the early years of a child’s life. PEPS is creating connection, one family and one PEPS group at a time. Many of you are current or former PEPS families and can attest to the vital role those connections have made in your parenting journey. As a parent of young children myself, I believe that all families deserve the opportunity to find support and build connection.

I am passionate about leading PEPS into a new chapter; one in which we will reach more families and deepen our impact. In the coming year, I am excited to work with the dedicated PEPS Board and Staff to move the strategic direction of PEPS forward. In this next chapter, we will focus on innovative approaches for growing our capacity to impact more families locally, as well as in strategically identified new areas. We are motivated by the compelling evidence that PEPS is not only strengthening families, but transforming communities and changing lives.

Jessica and kids
Jessica and her daughters
I want to thank you for your generous and ongoing support of PEPS. We are thriving today because of the support of champions like you. In the coming months, I encourage your involvement and welcome your ideas as PEPS journeys onward in touching the lives of more families, neighborhoods, and communities. Please contact me any time:

Many thanks,
Jessica Lawmaster, MSW

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