Langevin Recognizes RI Angel in Adoption

Sep 10, 2012 Issues: Children and Families, Cybersecurity

Matt Cullina, a Rhode Islander whose dedicated advocacy and accomplishments for foster children have pervaded all aspects of his life, is being recognized in Washington, DC, this week by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) as part of the organization’s 14th annual Angels in Adoption awards. Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) nominated Cullina as an Angel for his work as a board member of national non-profit First Star, an advocacy organization for abused and neglected children, and as CEO of IDentity Theft911.

Himself a loving parent to three adopted foster children and proud mentor to a former foster son, Cullina has worked with First Star to establish an academy at the University of Rhode Island, which completed its first summer session this year, to encourage foster youth to attend college. As part of the program, Cullina led a group of fraud specialists in delivering high-impact content to foster youth to help them navigate the world of identity management and credit. For this work, he was named winner of the Communitas Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Langevin turned to Cullina’s expertise in working to address the impact of identity theft on foster youth. The resulting legislative proposals were passed into law last year as part of the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act. The bill mandated free credit checks for foster youth over 16 years old before they age out of the system, and required that they receive assistance in clearing inaccuracies from their records. 

“It was an honor to have the opportunity to nominate Matt as an Angel in Adoption and recognize his extraordinary devotion to giving children in extremely challenging circumstances a fair chance to reach their potential,” said Langevin. “I am proud to have had the chance to work with him on a small part of his efforts that have made a tremendous, tangible difference  in the lives of foster youth in Rhode Island and nationwide.”

CCAI will host an awards ceremony for 140 Angels from across the country on Tuesday, September 11, and a gala event in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, September 12.

CCAI was created in 2001 by the active co-chairs of the bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) to more effectively raise Congressional and public awareness about the issue of adoption. The Angels in Adoption program was established in 1999 as a Congressional press conference to honor outstanding individuals. Since then, the program has developed into a yearlong public awareness campaign culminating in the Gala in Washington.