On November 3, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2017 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. For the rest of the month, we will be highlighting our ten honorees in our Community Heroes Series.


FredaKaprelian_smName: Freda Kaprielian

Occupation: Program Specialist of Early Childhood Education, KC Kids (Kings Canyon Unified School District)

Nominated by: Central California Children’s Institute

For Freda Kaprielian, transitioning from a career in nursing to early childhood education was a natural decision – one motivated by a desire to assist children with disabilities and their families find success. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Fresno State, Kaprielian was a school nurse with Kings Canyon Unified School District for nearly 20 years before becoming a special education teacher.

After personal experiences with loss, grief and recovery, Kaprielian realized a career supporting and coaching others through grief was where she needed to be. In 1999, she started working as a program specialist for KC Kids Early Childhood Center in the Kings Canyon Unified, supervising the early start, autism and preschool special education programs. Soon afterwards, she returned for her master’s degree in Education and a credential in Early Childhood Special Education at Fresno Pacific University.

A desire to elevate the work of early childhood professionals and help the Central Valley’s most vulnerable populations is what drives Kaprielian’s work each day. In addition to providing support for families, she also makes it her personal mission to help others in the field of early childhood education. For a few years, she taught that subject at Fresno Pacific University and served as a reflective facilitator and mentor.

Through her work, Kaprielian hopes to help others grow and build capacity to work collaboratively across agencies in order to support families and young children. In her words, “We must be the voice for these littles ones who don’t yet have a voice”.


The 2017 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 3, 2017 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or bwilkinson@csufresno.edu.