Awards for August 2008

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By Jim Richardson 

2008 Youth Advocates of the Year 

C.J. Petersen, the national Youth Advocate of the Year for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (front row, second from left), joins with regional winners and the group’s executive director, Bill Corr, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Matt Myers, president of the organization.

Photo: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

For: Youth advocates who have worked to promote tobacco prevention legislation in their states, reduce tobacco marketing to kids in their communities and stop their peers from using tobacco.

By: The Campaign for Tobacco- Free Kids.

Winners: National Youth Advocate of the Year: C.J. Petersen, 18, Atlantic, Iowa; International Grant Winner: Morgan Wittman, 18, Durham, N.C.; Group Winner: Lawton-Ft. Sill SWAT Team, Lawton, Okla.; East Regional Youth Advocate of the Year: Merritt McLaughlin 15, Dover, N.H.; South Regional Youth Advocate of the Year: Auriel Rolle-Polk, 17, Tallahassee, Fla.; Central Region Youth Advocate of the Year: Michelle Mays, 17, Rhinelander, Wis.; West Regional Youth Advocate of the Year: Emily Allison 16, Gardnerville, Nev.

Contact: April Kusper (202) 481-9359,

Critical Impact Award

For: Recognition of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, a successful funding strategy that supports advocacy and programs to help reform Connecticut’s juvenile justice system and improve outcomes for the state’s most vulnerable children and youth.

By: The Council on Foundations.

Winner: The Tow Foundation.

Contact: Evelyn Gibson (703) 879-0691,

2008 Intergenerational Shared Site Awards

For: Best practices in intergenerational shared site work based on program structure, detail, contact between generations, impact, community needs, interaction, staffing, community involvement, sustainability, evaluation, creativity, and how the program can be replicated by other organizations.

By: Generations United and MetLife Foundation.

Winners: The Jewel Program, a partnership between Mount Kisco Day Care Center and My Second Home/Family Services of Westchester County, N.Y.; the Macklin Intergenerational Institute, Findlay, Ohio; Neighbors Growing Together: Virginia Tech Intergenerational Program, Blacksburg, Va.; New Alternatives Inc.: San Pasqual Academy Neighbors, Escondido, Calif.; and the United Retirement Center/Avera, Brookings, S.D.

Contact: Lindsay Moore (202) 289-3979,

For: Mentoring programs that help young people reach their potential while adhering to national standards for best practices to achieve outstanding results for mentees and mentors.

By: The Maryland Mentoring Partnership.

Winner: Mentoring to Manhood, which targets young men ages 14 to18. The organization helps youths build life skills to achieve academic success, and exposes them to diverse learning opportunities and community service.

Contact: (301) 213-9463, or

Spirit of Crazy Horse Award

For: Individuals whose distinguished contributions in practice, policy or research have helped “reclaim” vulnerable children.

By: Reclaiming Youth International.

Winners: Brian J. Hancock, deputy division director, Department of Children & Families, New Jersey. Raised by a single mother, Hancock started using drugs and alcohol at age 12, joined a gang at age 13, landed in juvenile detention at 14, and then lived in a foster home run by Straight Ahead Ministries. He went on to become a lawyer, and now focuses on children’s mental health and juvenile justice policies.

Harry H. Vorrath, founder, Positive Peer Culture model. Born in Redfield, S.D., in 1929, Vorrath became a social worker, doing his graduate internship at the High Fields Residential Treatment Center in New Jersey. He later created Positive Peer Culture, which enlists young people to help one another overcome problems. The program has been used in correctional institutions and other residential facilities in several states. Vorrath died in May.

Contact: Cindy Crabtree (605) 647-2532,

2008 Jefferson Awards Champions

For: Recognition of employees within corporations, universities, local governments, and non-profit organizations for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.


Chris Nowicki

Maryalice Kelley

Kathy Hedenberg Schnee

Esteban Reyes

By: The Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Winners Include: Maryalice Kelley, Reed Smith LLP; Chris Nowicki, Armstrong Atlantic State University; Esteban Reyes, Mercy Health Partners, ; Kathy Hedenberg Schnee, Highmark Inc.; Jane Wilsher, ARAMARK; and Jaime Zovi, from Wells Fargo.

Contact: Patricia Dill (302) 622-9101,

Champions of Health Professions Diversity Awards

For: Increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in California’s health work force by addressing institutional bias, reforming admission policies and mentoring students.

By: The California Wellness Foundation.

Winners: Dr. Juanita Barrena, Sacramento; Dr. David E. Hayes-Bautista, Los Angeles; and Dr. Linda Squires-Grohe, San Francisco.

Contact: David Littlefield (818) 702-1900,