Woman of the Year
Local Special Needs Children’s Advocate Honored
Assemblymember Brian Maienschein recently honored Terri Colachis as the 2017 Woman of the Year for the 77th Assembly District in recognition of her dedication and volunteer work to benefit developmentally disabled children in the community. Terri is the board chair of San Diego-Imperial Counties Developmental Services, Inc., an organization that works with the Department of Developmental Services in helping people with developmental disabilities obtain improved living conditions. She is also the president of the Association of Regional Center Agencies, representing the 21 independent, nonprofit California Regional Centers which advocate on behalf of and provide necessary services to 300,000 people with developmental disabilities across the state.
Terri and her husband Gus have lived in the 77th Assembly District for over 32 years. Terri’s daughter Shea, one of her six children, was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old and is non-verbal. Her personal experience with a developmental disability inspired her to dedicate her life to help families in similar situations. “Terri is an exemplary volunteer and a devoted parent to her daughter Shea,” said Assemblymember Maienschein. “Her passionate support of those who are often overlooked and would otherwise have no voice in society is commendable.”
Established in 1987 to help commemorate Women’s History Month, the Woman of the Year honor has become an annual tradition as part of the State Assembly’s efforts to celebrate California’s extraordinary women. Honorees are presented with a framed certificate from the State Assembly recognizing their outstanding contributions.