The Raise Foundation shines light on OC School Nurses Organization’s impact

OC School Nurses Organization fall conference
The Raise Foundation awarded the 2023 Shining Light Award to the Orange County School Nurses Organization on Sept. 27. (Courtesy of Jean Chung)

The Orange County School Nurses Organization was recently lauded for going above and beyond in its mission to help keep local school children healthy and safe. 

The Orange County School Nurses Organization — or OCSNO — comprises hundreds of dedicated nurses representing the 28 school districts within the county. Their primary mission is to advocate for and foster healthy and secure learning environments within campuses. The nurses serve as liaisons between staff, students and families and healthcare providers. 

Their hard work has not gone unnoticed. On Sept. 27, representatives from The Raise Foundation, designated as Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council, presented OCSNO Chairperson Michelle DeHaven and her fellow board members with the 2023 Shining Light Award

The nonprofit-organization annually recognizes a community member or group that has used their platform to positively impact and enrich the lives of children and families in Orange County. 

DeHaven also serves the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District community as head nurse and supervisor of the Health Services unit. 

Orange County School Nurses Organization

“This recognition has inspired us to continue to work hard at fostering the maximum health and education potential of children and youth,” DeHaven said. “The collaborative efforts of the Raise Foundation have been such a valuable resource to our dedicated school nurses and we are fortunate to have prevention programs and services as a support to us. On behalf of OCSNO, our Board and members, we thank them once again for this honor.” 

The organization was nominated by Riva Apodaca, an interim coordinator for Student Health Programs at the Orange County Department of Education. She believes that the organization, as it is led by DeHaven, is an exceptional group of professionals who ensure children have what they need to focus on education. 

“I particularly liked the name ‘Shining Light Award,’” Apodaca said. “So often school nurses work diligently in the background and never get to be in the spotlight. I was pleased that the Raise Foundation provided them this opportunity.” 

The school nurses organization will be formally recognized at The Raise Foundation’s annual Blue Ribbon Kick-Off Celebration Ceremony next April. The event coincides will National Child Abuse Prevention Month.