SCANStar: Leon Harris 

October 6, 2011

He’s a local celebrity. He’s a dad. And he just happens to be a friend of SCAN, too. We’ve watched him on the ABC7 evening news for years, but we didn’t meet him in person until he emceed our Child Abuse Prevention Month kick-off event last year where he–literally–gave out his email address to all 200 guests (many of them working in the child welfare community) and asked to be contacted for stories. We were hooked.

Fast forward a few months, and Leon was helping us again. After receiving a grant from AT&T to begin producing a series called Podcasts for Parents, Leon agreed to offer his well-recognized voice to record the audio for the first three podcasts. He talks here about meeting SCAN and looking ahead at other ways to support our mission:

BuildingBlocks: When did you first volunteer with SCAN, and what have you done as a volunteer?
Leon Harris: I’ve never really volunteered with SCAN in the traditional sense. I emceed the Allies in Prevention Awards Luncheon for them last year and had a wonderful time meeting such committed people. Then, this fall, I helped them record their first three Podcasts for Parents on Anger Management, Positive Discipline and the Pause for a Child campaign.

BB: Why did you decide to support SCAN?
Leon: I can’t think of a better way to use my time, resources and support than to assist in any way those who are making a better world possible for kids. I don’t think a day has gone by over the nearly thirty years I’ve been involved in covering the world that I haven’t seen, read or heard something about the plight of a child somewhere that broke my heart. With all the things we’ve learned from watching history unfold, I’m amazed that we still must convince people that a small investment of love in a child, and some effort in giving them a safe and nurturing environment benefits us ALL! That’s why I support groups that do the good work that SCAN does.

BB: Has anything about SCAN surprised you?
Leon: I’m in the process of learning as much as I can about SCAN. In fact, I can promise you that in the next few weeks you will see a report on my newscast about the necessary and selfless work that SCAN and its leaders are doing in our communities!

BB: What is something most people wouldn’t know by looking at you?
Leon: I went to Ohio University (where I met my wife) and began my career as an unpaid intern at CNN in Atlanta. I eventually became an anchor on CNN, and then came to WJLA in 2003.

In September, thanks to Leon’s help, we launched SCAN’s Podcasts for Parents on iTunes, and plan to record additional segments this month with another local celebrity (stay tuned for that announcement!)