On July fourth, Multnomah County lost a visionary advocate and Janus’ Insights Teen Parent Program lost one of its founders, Diane Cohen-Alpert—who was an unparalleled leader in the local and national teen parent community for over thirty years. Through her work with other youth organizations in the 1970s, Diane recognized the unique needs and the incredible strength in teen parents. Recognizing the gap in services for teen parents, Diane created Insights Teen Parent Program, which has been in operation uninterrupted since its incorporation under her leadership.
Diane had a passion for families and community. According to Lori Schroeder, supervisor of the Insights SEEDS and Home Safe Programs, “Diane created an atmosphere at work that allowed us bringing our kids to the office. She created a very nourishing atmosphere.” She was instrumental in the creation of the Harry’s Mother program—still Multnomah County’s only 24-hour youth hotline and emergency shelter for runaway youth and one of the first of its kind in the country. Says Dennis Morrow, Janus’ Executive Director, “I worked with Diane in the 1980s as a partner in the Tri-County Youth Services Consortium and there is no doubt in my mind or in the mind of anyone who met her that she was literally born to do the work she did. Children on the streets, families of children on the streets, teen moms and the babies of teen moms—thousands have been impacted forever by the work she did and by the commitment she modeled for us all to never give up trying. Thank you Diane for being you and for sharing with us all.”