Rosazlia Grillier is a visionary, overcomer, and survivor. Rosazlia is being honored for her dedication to revealing the untold truths and depth of the impact that true parent engagement has on positive policy and systems change, benefiting families and communities across this country.

Not long ago, Rosazlia weighed more than 480 pounds, was confined to a wheelchair, and battling severe illness. A turning point came when she reluctantly attended a meeting of COFI - the Community Organizing and Family Issues group. This Chicago organization trains low-income women in leadership skills and community activism. Today the widowed mother of two teenage daughters has become a grassroots leader, with a mission to encourage parents to get involved in their children’s education. With the help of COFI, Rosazlia worked with public officials to inspire change in her neighborhood by fundraising and building two playgrounds for the Englewood Woods Academy elementary school.

Today, a healthier lifestyle has helped Rosazlia lose more than 250 pounds and has increased her energy to engage with the community continually. Rosazlia has become a nationally recognized grassroots leader, and she sits on the board of COFI, is Co-President of POWER-PAC IL, the advocacy arm of COFI. She has received numerous awards and recognition, including being named a Chicago Hero by Allstate and the King family. She is one of the founding governing council members for Uplan (United Parent Leaders Action Network). Rosazlia is determined to encourage collaborations that empower a vision for positive change “worldwide.”

The Founders Impact Award recognizes the lifetime achievements of an individual who has made significant contributions toward the advancement of women and girls for thirty years or more.