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810 W. 45th Street Austin, TX 78751



Hours of Operation
Monday to Thursday — 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday — 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday — Closed.

2024 Phyllis Richards Icon for Youth Awards

Do you know someone who exemplifies excellence in improving outcomes for children or teens? 

Nominations for the 2024 Phyllis Richards Icon for Youth Awards are currently open. The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, August 2nd. Nominate someone who exemplifies excellence today HERE. 

Nomination Criteria 

Scope and Impact of Work  

  • How has the work of the nominee improved the quality of life for children and teens?  

  • How has the nominee exemplified leadership in these efforts?  
  • How long has the nominee been working to help improve the quality of life for children and teens?  

Innovation  

  • Has the nominee created or improved events, programs, systems, or processes to improve the quality of life for children and teens?  

Growth and Perseverance  

  • How has the nominee overcome obstacles in reaching their accomplishments?   
  • In what ways did the nominee display growth from facing difficult circumstances?  
Selection and Recognition Process  
  • Finalists from each category will be selected from the nominees. ACGC will recognize all nominees and publicly announce the finalists prior to the event.  

  • ACGC’s Board will choose the award winners and they will be revealed at our award ceremony.   

  • During the event program, each finalist and award winner will be recognized for their dedication to improving future outcomes for children and teens.   

The award ceremony will be at ACGC on September 20th, 2024 . Each finalist will receive 2 complimentary tickets. 

For additional questions, send an email to our Development Team

History of the Award

Dr. Phyllis Richards had over 70 years of dedicated service in child development and shaping service delivery to children. Her commitment to ensuring that all children have access to quality early childhood education and mental health services has created long-term impacts for thousands of children. She served as a faculty member for The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology Division of Human Development and Family Sciences for forty years. She was a visionary leader and researcher in the field of early childhood education and development, and worked vigorously to help establish the Head Start program on a national level. In her five years of service on the Austin Child Guidance Center’s Board of Directors, she was influential in helping the Center become the first site in Central Texas to provide mental health services to children who were victims of sexual abuse. 

Dr. Phyllis Richards passed away on April 18, 2023. The awards ceremony holds a special significance as we pay tribute to her life's work, which has been the cornerstone of child development services today. Dr. Richards' selfless commitment to children will always be remembered and celebrated by all those whose lives she touched. 

2023 Winners 

Professional Excellence: Nancy Pollard, Friends of the Children - Austin 

Nancy Pollard is the founder and CEO of Friends of the Children - Austin. Under Nancy's leadership, their mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty by pairing children experiencing the most significant challenges with a professional, salaried, full-time, bilingual mentor, called a Friend, from kindergarten through high school graduation for 12+ years. Thanks to Nancy's advocacy and determination, the organization has grown to serve 175 children, ranging in ages from four to 11 years old.

Corporate Partner of the Year: (un)Common Logic

(un)Common Logic helps companies grow through digital marketing services: paid media, search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, and analytics. Avid supporters of ACGC’s mission, the team has displayed careful, meaningful thought in coming with digital marketing strategies to help increase visibility and accessibility to information about ACGC by helping us to improve our website content and search engine ranking. 

ACGC Partner of the Year: Paula Aaronson

"Paula Aaronson personifies the spirit of the Phyllis Richards Award! For decades, she has devoted her time, treasure, and talent to enhancing the lives and futures of children. A single mother of three, she learned first-hand the challenges of raising kids under demanding circumstances, including losing everything in a devastating house fire. Entering the engineering field at a time with low female membership, she developed the analytical skills she utilizes in her many roles serving her family and community. Last Winter, Paula returned to ACGC to serve on the Executive Director Search Committee, which resulted in hiring Andy Miller. Her perspective as a former Board Member and Board President was invaluable! Paula’s impact on ACGC and the children and families served these many years give testimony to her heart and the meaning of the Phyllis Richards Award." - Sarah Fontenot, ACGC Board President and member of the Executive Director search committee and Laura Rea, ACGC Board Member and Chair of the Executive Director search committee.