Award Recipient

Jelena Komanchuk

Bianca Beyer Award

As a young child, I was highly interested in the well-being of children experiencing vulnerability and recall conversing with my parents about the experiences of children who did not have enough food or a home to reside in. This interest persisted and encouraged me to pursue a career in nursing, with the aim of developing skills and knowledge to promote health. As a pediatric Registered Nurse, I observed health and developmental disparities between children experiencing adversity (e.g., child maltreatment) and their same-aged peers, and felt particularly moved by these observations. However, I felt constrained in my ability to influence change and entered graduate school to research supportive programs for families experiencing vulnerability.

For my doctoral research, I am evaluating the effectiveness of the First Pathways Game, an online parenting program, on children’s developmental outcomes and parent-child interactions. Families experiencing adversity report numerous barriers to attending in-person parenting programs, and the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the need for efficacious online supports. I am excited to evaluate this program as its free, online format has potential to support the health and development of numerous children. I am honored to receive this award and am grateful to the Canadian Nurses Foundation for their support and confidence in my capacity to advance nursing knowledge and support the health and development of children experiencing vulnerability.

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