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Regina Calcaterra Advocate for Foster Youth & Children in Need; New York Times Best-Selling Author

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Select Keynotes

  • Foster Care and Older Foster Child Adoption
  • Resilience of Children
  • Schools and Libraries
  • Breaking Cycles
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Everlasting Impact of Small Acts of Kindness on a Child in Need
  • The Power of Resilience, Optimism and Self-Determination

Select Book Titles

  • 2016 Girl Unbroken
  • 2013 Etched in Sand

Regina Calcaterra’s memoir Etched in Sand, A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (HarperCollins Publishing, 2013) is a #1 international best-seller and a New York Times best-seller. As a result of Etched in Sand’s messages of resilience, optimism, the plight of foster children, that no child is a lost cause and how we can all positively impact the life of a child in need, it has been integrated into college and high school curricula throughout the U.S. She is also co-author of Etched in Sand’s sequel which she wrote with her younger sister Rosie Maloney, Girl Unbroken, A Sister’s Harrowing Journey from the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho (HarperCollins Publishing, 2016).

Overcoming a childhood of abuse, neglect and abandonment in Suffolk County, Regina rose to serve in several high-profile public-sector roles including being appointed the first woman Chief Deputy County Executive of Suffolk County where she led the County through a fiscal crisis and the impact of Superstorm Sandy. At the onset of the Covid pandemic, she founded a woman-owned boutique law firm. Calcaterra Law PC practice areas include social justice, municipal representation, and complex federal and state litigation.

Honors & Awards: Regina has received numerous awards and honors in her legal career and advocacy efforts including being awarded the Suffolk County Civic Service Award and Medal issued by former Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (December 2023); 2020 Trailblazer Award by the National Law Journal; New York’s Top Municipal, State and County Superlawyers (2020-present) by Superlawyers, Inc.; Champion of Civil Rights & Social Justice Award (City & State NY, 2018); Woman of Substance Award (Seton Hall Law School, 2018); and Lifetime Achievement Award (Primi-Dieci Society, Italy-American Chamber of Commerce, 2015).

Boards & Advocacy: Regina serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Suffolk County; as a board member for The Felix Organization, which provides inspiring opportunities and new experiences to enrich the lives of children who are growing up in the foster care system; and as a member of the Board of Believers for You Gotta Believe, an organization that works towards permanency for older foster youth. Through You Gotta Believe Regina became a proud forever mom.

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