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Leslie DeDora honored for program that brings disabilities empathy to youngstudents

Roseville, Calif.- USA Networks will honor Granite Bay Resident Leslie DeDora, Founder, Executive Director and Program Director of A Touch of Understanding. Leslie will be presented with a Characters Unite Award for her efforts to combat prejudice and discrimination.

The Awards Ceremony was held on December 14, 2013 at Greenhills Elementary Schoolย in Granite Bay, CA 95746ย ย  Also Featured on USA Network On-Air and Online as Part of Characters Unite Campaign

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Local resident Leslie DeDora is among the ten winners selected by USA Network, along with its distribution partners, for the 2013 Characters Unite Awards.ย  Characters Unite is USA’s public service campaign to combat hate and discrimination and promote greater tolerance and acceptance – on-air, online and in communities across the country.

The 2013 winners were selected from hundreds of nominees for their significant efforts to champion civil and human rights in their communities.ย  Each honoree will be acknowledged during a hometown award ceremony and will receive a $5,000 grant to support his/her project or related nonprofit organization. Additionally, honorees will be featured on-air in a PSA and online.

In her role as an instructional aide at a local elementary school, Leslie witnessed many forms of cruelty and discrimination on a daily basis where kids were continuously being bullied. As a result, Leslie worked endlessly to develop A Touch of Understanding, a program that would advocate empathy and respect for all individuals regardless of their differences.

Walk a mile in another person’s shoes

Over the past 20 years, she has presented this program to schools, giving kids the opportunity to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. A two-part workshop, the program first involves students taking part in an activity station to understand learning disabilities and autism. The second part of the workshop provides students the opportunity to speak with individuals with disabilities where they discover that we are not all that different. Leslie’s program has touched the lives of more than 57,000 people setting an example of the positive impact one person can have on a community.

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