Ms. April Putzulu


April Putzulu (Seminole) has 36 years of service to Florida’s children and families and has developed creative prevention programs and campaigns that remain in existence today. First, as a probation officer with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ); next, leading substance prevention programs with Operation PAR, resulting in two National Safe & Drug Free Schools designations; then overseeing the strategic work of DJJ Boards and Councils that led to new Teen Court programs and the first PACE Centers for Girls in Pinellas and Pasco counties. Moving from delinquency to child welfare, she served as a conduit of people and ideas. She was instrumental in forging a relationship with the Tampa Bay Rays, Rays pitcher James Shields, and his wife Ryane to form the Big Game James Club, giving hundreds of foster children the opportunity to attend major league baseball games each year.

Passionate about finding forever homes for foster children, she led efforts to create the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco, and partnered with the media on feature stories, including one that went viral by Tampa Bay Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Lane DeGregory about 16-year-old Davion who wanted “someone, anyone” to adopt him. As Director of Strategic Communications for the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB), she created the Sleep Baby Safely campaign aimed at protecting babies from sleep-related suffocation that, over time, has reduced by half the number of infant deaths in Pinellas County: this campaign was recently recognized as a best practice and is being replicated statewide. She is currently leading a new birth-to-three campaign, Turbo Babies, fueled by JWB to support parents and caregivers as their child’s first and best teachers.

Voices of Florida Women Survey

The goal of this study is to identify key issues facing women, understand critical needs women and their communities perceive as important, build trust with constituents, and highlight the diverse viewpoints of all segments of the population from across the state.

Read The Report