During the Annual Staff Retreat, 500+ employees come together to discuss the health and progress of the organization, work on team building skills, and meet and interact with fellow staff from various programs and sites across the state. Each year, Canopy recognizes four individuals who exemplify the four Core Values of the organization who are nominated by their peers. Because there are only four “Value Awards” presented annually, this is the highest of honors given among Canopy staff by the organization for their work to achieve the mission to help children thrive and families overcome extraordinary challenges.

Four Core Values

Our Four Core Values define our day-to-day actions and decision-making at every level in our organization.


The VOICE of Our Children and Families Always Comes First

The voice of our children and families is the starting place for everything we do. Our family-driven, youth-guided services build upon the unique strengths and culture of each family. Canopy commits to a full partnership with those entrusted to our care.

2017 VOICE Value Award Winner:
Kimberly Gordon, In-Circle Therapist, North Region

Here is some of what her peers had to say:

Kimberly Gordon is approaching her one year anniversary and has continuously shown great efforts in providing voice for our children and families.   Kimberly goes above and beyond for her families and doesn’t mind being the voice for each of them.  Kimberly recently successfully discharged a case where she had a single mother of eight with no supports, no furniture and no transportation.  Initially, the mother didn’t think she had a voice and she wasn’t able to communicate effectively with the court system.  The mother was at the point of giving up until she met Kimberly who worked effortlessly to get out in the community and ask for donations to assist the family.  She worked diligently to get the children back in the mom’s home.  When one door closed, she made sure another was opened.  Kimberly deserves to be recognized for such great effort, providing support and hope, and for giving this family a voice.


We understand the centrality of relationships in our work. We strive to form relationships throughout, within, and beyond the organization that will help us create change. From the board room to the classroom (and at all levels in between), relationships are the building blocks of our success! Through the power of positive relationships, every child can be a success story.

2017 RELATIONSHIPS MATTER Value Award Winner:
Yokena Anderson, Site Manager, South Central Region

Here is some of what her peers had to say:

In February 2017, our office staff of 8 relocated to a smaller building.  It was a difficult transition as we moved from a spacious building where we were very comfortable.  Yokena encouraged us to settle in and to look forward to better days.  She believes in making sure that staff is able to do their best, feel their best and makes sure we work in a safe and positive environment.  Yokena makes us aware of information about the organization and our job responsibilities with genuine concern and positive reinforcement.  We are able to let our voices be heard through text, email, phone calls and face to face meetings.  Yokena creates a professional environment while showing concern for our team and the youth and families we serve. She takes great pride in the youth and families we serve by being open to suggestions, making telephone contacts, having friendly conversations, and listening to suggestions. Yokena represents Canopy well in Jefferson, Wilkinson, Adams, Amite and Pike counties.  Because of her, others know about the quality of the solutions we provide.  She is the glue that keeps us together.

We Take Great JOY in Service to Others

The heartbeat of our work is selflessly working for a cause greater than ourselves. Finding joy in meeting others’ needs allows our staff to move beyond themselves while they serve, encourage, and provide hope to children and families during difficult times.

2017 JOY Value Award Winner:
LaQuita Brown, MYPAC Regional Wraparound Coordinator, South Region

Here are some things her peers had to say:

The word “Joy” can only be obtained when striving for excellence and allowing passion to lead the way.  Knowing this, a face and name immediately comes to mind.  That face is LaQuita Brown.  She is the only wrap coordinator working across two regions. She does it with a smile on her face and never complains. LaQuita can always be caught assisting peers as well as her supervisor with duties outside of her role and she truly finds Joy in doing it! 

We appreciate LaQuita for always providing guidance and support to our region’s Wraparound Facilitators. LaQuita is the best and an awesome team player!

Thanks for always being considerate of others and being a team player.

LaQuita is just awesome!

It is an honor to watch her grow and flourish at Canopy.  When a task is assigned, LaQuita receives it with a smile on her face and doesn’t stop until the task is completed based on her extremely high standards and the team has crossed the finish line.

Our Families and our Communities Deserve our VERY BEST

Finally, for over 100 years, we have endeavored to deliver care of the highest quality. Therefore, we have been, and continue to be, at the forefront of emerging best practices and state-of-the-art service delivery. As stewards of a century of progress, we work very hard at meeting the needs of the current generation of Mississippians. Nevertheless, we can and must get better – our families and communities deserve it.

2017 VERY BEST Value Award Winner:
Maureen Long, CARES School Principal, Central Region

Here are some things her peers had to say:

Maureen Long works tirelessly every day to ensure the students at CARES School Jackson are receiving the very best by supporting teachers and staff.  She believes in our kids and believes that she can help bring out each child’s potential.  Maureen supports the principals in a leadership role for our Hattiesburg and Saucier schools.  She has given of her time on the weekends and after hours to ensure each child and staff have the tools they need each day to be successful.  Maureen is passionate about our mission and loves to tell our story.  I can’t think of a better ambassador for the core value of “very best” than Maureen Long.

Congratulations to all of our 2017 Value Award Winners! Thank you for all you do to help transform the lives of children!