EPU Children’s Center Board President Wins Central California Women’s Conference & PG&E’s “She Makes A Difference” Award

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Alene Istanboulian



EPU Children’s Center Board President Wins

Central California Women’s Conference & PG&E’s

“She Makes A Difference” Award  

September 18, 2017—FRESNO, Calif.—Trisha Cooper, President of the EPU Children’s Center Board of the Directors, has been named the “She Makes A Difference Award” winner by the Central California Women’s Conference and PG&E. Cooper will be recognized at the 30th Annual Central California Women’s Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Fresno Convention Center.

The PG&E/CCWC “She Makes A Difference Award” acknowledges one woman who has overcome obstacles to transform her life, her family, or her community with her courage, strength and wisdom to make a positive impact.

After her son Brandon was diagnosed with Autism in 2005, Cooper found support at the EPU Children’s Center, and has since held various leadership positions within the agency’s volunteer committees. Trisha is past chair of Fiesta de los Niños, EPU’s signature fundraiser, and has helped raise nearly $500,000 for EPU since joining the committee in 2012. Cooper currently serves as the President of EPU’s Board of Directors, and supports parents who have children with special needs through EPU’s Family Faculty.

Cooper advocated for the creation of the new special education program at Rio Vista Middle School– the program, which allowed her son and others to learn in a classroom alongside their peers, prevented stunted development. Her work on the superintendent’s advisory committee affected district-wide policy and created Autism Awareness curriculum for students with special needs.

“While it is challenging to raise a child with unique talents and gifts, it has been one of my life’s greatest blessings,” said Cooper. “Because it is challenging, we as parents can’t do it alone. It takes a community of support, an open mind and heart filled with patience and love. I am grateful for my journey, this award and the hope that it will bring to children and families like mine.”

Parents and community members who have benefited from Cooper’s tireless work credit her with creating positive change through collaboration and her awareness that her actions today will affect our community tomorrow.

“Trisha is a tireless and courageous advocate for her son and for all children,” said Nene Casares, Central California Women’s Conference Board President. “The Central California Women’s Conference could not be more thrilled to honor her on September 19 with this award. She is a light for us all.”


About EPU Children’s Center (Exceptional Parents Unlimited)

For 41 years, the EPU Children’s Center has provided support for children and families facing extraordinary medical, developmental and parenting challenges throughout Fresno County. Today, the EPU Children’s Center serves over 950 children and families each week. The EPU Children’s Center’s staff of more than 100 therapists and early childhood specialists meet the critical needs of children and families through six specialized programs. For more information, visit www.epuchildren.org