Special/Signature Issues » Top 40 Under 40

Lisa Cox, 36


Director of Infant and Child Development Services
Greater Richmond ARC

Lisa Cox has adored children ever since her first job baby-sitting. After completing her undergraduate studies at James Madison University and a master's degree at the University of Virginia, she jumped right in with the children, taking a position with Children's Hospital of Richmond as a feeding specialist for five years.

As director of Infant and Child Development Services for the Greater Richmond ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens), she coordinates programming that ensures, some 400-plus Richmond children a year receive specialized pediatric services. She says her daily challenges range "from funding to a shortage of professional resources in Virginia."

But her commitment to youth extends from her professional life to behind her front door. So far she's taken in two children as a foster parent for the city. Cox says she was compelled to take action because of the large numbers of children awaiting homes. The most rewarding part of being a parent? "The realization that there is so much community support," she says. "The old saying 'It takes a village' is particularly true in foster care. … Seeing how many people come alongside you when you step out to do something like this is overwhelming."

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