Awards for May 2009

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Naturally: Staffers at Michigan State University’s natural resources camp brought home 4-H’s award for teaching youth about conservation and wildlife management.

2009 Connecting Youth with Nature through Natural Resources Conservation Education Award

For: 4-H volunteer leaders who assist youth in learning about wildlife and fisheries conservation and management.

By: 4-H National Headquarters and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Winner: Michigan State University 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp for its statewide teen leadership and environmental stewardship program that provides experiential learning in forestry, wetlands, limnology (the study of the life and phenomena of fresh water), coastal ecology and fisheries management.

Contact: Scott Elliott, USDA, (202) 720-7185; Janet Ady, FWS, (304) 876-7653;

Distinquished Public Service Award

For: Individuals who are public advocates for children, who have demonstrated leadership in public service to education, championing children with learning disabilities.

By: The National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Winner: Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Republican, for his

Tom Kean

commitment to education policy and children with disabilities. The award was presented at the launch of the “Our Kids Count Campaign” last month, a new public engagement campaign that seeks to raise $20 million to provide resources to the nation’s 2.6 million struggling students with learning disabilities.

Contact: Catherine Nugent, NCLD, (212) 545-7510 ext. 214,

ChangeMaker Young Activist Award

For: Emerging leaders under 25 who have created meaningful change and have addressed issues facing the most vulnerable populations in their campus and/or community.

By: South Asian Americans Leading Together.

Winners: Rishi Singh, 23, steering committee member and grant writer of Desis Rising Up & Moving in Jackson Heights, N.Y., for his work to build a strong South Asian working-class youth base that makes changes in New York City public high schools; Sonia Sarkar, 20, Baltimore, Md. for working to break the link between low-income families and poor health through her work with Project HEALTH; Muhammed Malik, 24, local activist in the Miami community who works to bring people together to address common issues, including civil rights, human rights, affordable housing and racial justice.

Contact: (301) 270-1855,

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award

For: An individual’s lifetime contributions to the human services field.

By: American Public Human Services Association.

Winner: Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, who has worked on behalf of children in foster care, co-authored the book On Their Own, about the foster care system, and serves on the boards of The Finance Project and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Contact: Frank Solomon, (202) 682-0100 ext. 285,

Harry S. Truman Award

For: An individual outside the education field who has had a major positive impact on community colleges.

By: American Association of Community Colleges.

Winner: Leah Meyer Austin, former senior vice president of program

Leah Meyer Austin

development and organizational learning at the Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis, for her leadership at Lumina, which shaped the development of the national Achieving the Dream initiative to improve student success – particularly minorities and low-income students – at the nation’s community colleges.

Contact: (202)728-0200,,

Gainesville Kiwanis Club Youth Service Award

For: A member of the community who has given both time and resources to the betterment of children.

By: Kiwanis Club of Gainesville, Ga.

Winner: Scott McGarity, Kiwanis adviser to the Gainesville High School Key Club, for his community service activity in the club and more than 10 years of service to the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Agency, 12 years as a youth football coach, 10 years coaching girls softball and five years coaching girls basketball.