Congresswoman Wilson Named “Defender of Children”

Washington, D.C.Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) has been named a 2023 Defender of Children by the bipartisan advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children. Just 40 U.S. House of Representatives members receive this distinction each year.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

“As a lifelong educator and advocate for children, I am deeply honored to be once again named Defender of Children by First Focus, an organization tirelessly committed to placing children at the core of our legislative priorities,” Congresswoman Wilson stated. “By dedicating resources to the well-being and development of children, we are investing in our nation’s future and prosperity. We hold the keys to changing our nation by channeling our efforts into uplifting our children and equipping them with the tools they need for success, like guaranteeing universal Preschool and ensuring we invest in their education. Now, more than ever, we must prioritize our children and fight to give them a better life than my generation. This commitment has been the focal point of my life’s work, and I am unwavering in my dedication to consistently advocating for children today and every day.”

First Focus Campaign for Children’s 2023 Legislative Scorecard ranks members of Congress according to votes and bill sponsorships taken during the first session of the 118th Congress that prioritizes the well-being of children in the U.S. and worldwide.

The new report delves into significant legislation aimed at safeguarding children from hazards such as toxic chemicals and sexual abuse, fostering accessible and high-quality childcare, fostering wealth creation and stable financial futures, combating child labor, enhancing mental health support in schools, and addressing other critical issues vital for advancing the needs of children worldwide. Just 120 members of Congress in total, across both chambers and parties, were named Champions or Defenders of Children in the 118th Congress.

“Our nation’s children are in crisis, with child poverty, homelessness, uninsured rates, and even mortality rates of infants and children on the rise,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “We are grateful to Rep. Wilson for working to reverse these trends and for always putting the best interests of children first. We hope this accomplishment will inspire their colleagues to do the same.”


Congresswoman Wilson is the Ranking Member of the Education and Labor Committee’s Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee, which oversees education-related issues for students across the country. She founded the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, a mentoring and dropout prevention program for young men of color who’ve touched the lives of millions of families for over 30 years. Every year, the program gives millions of dollars in scholarships to high school graduates enrolled in the program. The Congresswoman recently introduced the Youth Corps Act of 2021, which would provide low-income youth with education and work readiness training. She has also consistently been a champion of universal preschool, providing free school breakfast and lunch, and canceling student loan debt.

See the list of winners here. Download the full report here. 


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