Cleveland native Carrie Valdez, a labor and employment attorney at BakerHostetler, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Footpath Foundation, a 5-year-old nonprofit dedicated to empowering all children through discovery of the natural world.
Valdez, who lives in North Royalton with her husband, Alejandro, and their three children, brings to Footpath a strong commitment to getting more kids outdoors and the expertise to serve the foundation in an advisory capacity regarding legal considerations, according to Mary Macias, Footpath’s president and CEO.
“Carrie is a great team player,” Macias said. “She has already added so much value to our organization and our ability to serve kids who don’t necessarily get to spend a lot of time outdoors.”
Originally from Cleveland, Valdez relocated to Arizona for work from 2004-2012. It was there that she met her husband, who hopes to be teaching full-time for the Cleveland Municipal School District next fall.
Valdez is very involved in her children’s school and parish.
Valdez has expressed her excitement about being a member of the Footpath Board. “I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the mission of Footpath and see the commitment to service embodied by everyone on the board,” she said. “I cannot wait to participate in future Footpath nature experiences and see these children’s smiling faces!”
Founded in 2015, Footpath Foundation is dedicated to empowering all children through discovery of the natural world. Footpath partners with like-minded organizations to provide all kids outdoor experiences they need to become resilient and productive adults. Footpath provides opportunities that include camp, nature exploration and school-based initiatives.
When summer camps were cancelled this year because of the pandemic, Footpath created outdoor connection kits that gave more 240 kids from Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio and Fostering Hope the chance to explore nature close to home.
In addition, Footpath has developed a school-based, eight-week curriculum with a focus on nature and science. It gets students outside at least once a week and includes a focus on social emotional development.