Awards for December 2008-January 2009

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TCWF California Peace Prize

For: Individuals committed to preventing violence and promoting peace in their communities.

By: The California Wellness Foundation

Winners: Kismet Evans, San Bernardino, an ex-convict who has worked over the past decade “to provide drug, alcohol, and violence-intervention counseling for youth and to increase public awareness of the trauma that incarceration has on families and communities,” according to the foundation; Orlando Ramos, principal of Lee Mathson Middle School in San Jose, who has successfullymediated among students involved in violent incidents and helped to reduce violence in the community; Billie Weiss, Los Angeles, an epidemiologist and public health champion who has worked for more than 20 years to reduce violence against youth.

Contact: Cecilia Laiché, (818) 702-1900,

Kismet Evans

Billie Weiss








National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

For: Students in low-income communities trying to launch their own businesses.

By: National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship/OppenheimerFunds

Up-and-Comers: Jessica Cervantes, Rodney Walker and Amanda Loyola were honored for launching innovative businesses.

Photo: Margaret Fox

Winners: Jessica Cervantes, 18, Miami, for inventing a cupcake on a stick called Popsy Cakes; Rodney Walker, 19, Chicago, for creating a way to preserve important moments through custom video and music called “Forever Life Music & Video Productions”; Amanda Loyola, 15, New York, for creating vegetarian dog treats called EcoDog Treats.

Contact: Nicole Rottino, (212) 232-3333, ext. 356,

Edward Zigler

2008 Humanitarian Award

For: Commitment to children and families through education.

By: World of Children

Winner: Edward Zigler, who served as first director of the U.S. Office ofChild Development (now the Administration on Children, Youth and Families) and as chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, and who helped launch Project Head Start and Parents as Teachers, the national nonprofit parent education and early childhood program.

Contact: (925) 399-6411,

Community Health Leaders Award

For: Local innovation in improving health and health care.

By: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Winners include: Stephen Black, president and founder of Impact Alabama, Birmingham, and founder of FocusFirst, in which trained college students provide vision screenings to preschoolers in low-income areas; Scott Charles, trauma outreach coordinator, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, creator of “Cradle to Grave,” an intervention program to prevent youth violence; Donene Feist, state director, Family Voices of North Dakota, Edgeley, for collaboration with families and professionals to improve the health care of children with special needs; Zaid Gayle, executive director, Peace4Kids, Compton, Calif., creator of Peace4Kids, a “community-as-family” program for foster children in the Watts area of Los Angeles.

Contact: (609) 627-5809,

Stephen Black

Zaid Gayle

Scott Charles








Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards

For: Poets exploring positive visions of peace and the human spirit. Awards are offered in three categories: adult, youth ages 13 to 18, and youth 12 and under.

By: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Winners include: Jennifer Hu, Hummelstown, Pa. – Youth 13 to 18, for “The Ungodly Hour”; Xiao Jin Jackson, Mendocino, Calif. – Youth 12 and under, for “The Light is Shining on Us.”

Contact: Vicki Stevenson (805) 965-3443,