Awards for October 2009

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Innovations Award in Children and Family  System Reform

For: Federal, state and local government programs that enhance services to children and families nationwide through creative and concrete solutions.

By: Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Winners: Wraparound Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wis., a community based-system of care that provides comprehensive, highly individualized, family-directed services to youth with serious emotional and mental health needs, and to their families.

BGCA Youth of the Year

Tony Spears

Aneka Billings

Christney Kpodo

For: Youth who have shown outstanding leadership, have contributed to a Boys & Girls Club member’s family, school, community and club, and have overcome personal challenges and obstacles.

By: Boys & Girls Club of America.

Winners: National winner, Carolina Correa, 19, a seven-year member of Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, R.I. Regional winners: LaQuita Grinnage, 18, Milwaukee, Wis.; Christney Kpodo, 18, South Puget Sound, Wash.; Aneka Billings, 18, Gulf Coast, Miss.; Tony Spears, 18, Bellville, Texas

Carolina Correa


LaQuita Grinnage


Innovations in American Government Awards

For: Federal, state and local government agencies whose models of innovation improve the quality of life of citizens and encourage scholarly research and teaching.

By: Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School.

Winners Include: New Leaders for New Schools, Chicago Public School District, for efforts to improve students’ academic performance; Higher Education Initiative, Kingsport, Tenn., for revitalizing the economy in Kingsport by improving the education level of its labor force; Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which implements provisions of the Massachusetts health care reform law; Data Feeds: Democratization of Government Data, Washington, D.C., which provides a centralized access point for government data from multiple agencies.

Contact: Kate Hoagland (617) 495-4347,

Innovation Winners: Tony Saich, director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation; Bruce Kamradt, director of Wraparound Milwaukee; and Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government program.

For: Individuals who have organized and advocated comprehensive immigration reform and worked to counter anti-immigrant policies and groups, particularly by bridging the gap between the grassroots and policy levels.

Jane Bagley Lehman Awards for Excellence in Public Advocacy

By: Tides Foundation.

Winners Include: Salvador Reza, coordinator of Tonatierra Machehualli Day Labor Project in Arizona, for his human rights work with migratory workers and their families; Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, for leadership in civil and labor rights, particularly fighting for citizenship legalization and family reunification.

Angelica Salas

Contact: Christine Coleman (415) 561-6354,,

The Heinz Awards

For: Individuals who are working in innovative ways to address environmental issues and the ways those issues intersect with the arts and humanities, the human condition, public policy, technology and the economy and employment.

By: Heinz Family Philanthropies.

Winners Include: Kirk Smith, professor of global environmental health at the University of California/ Berkeley, for his research on the dangers of indoor fuel use to human health, particularly its impacts on poor women and children in developing countries; Thomas Smith, director, Public Citizen, Austin, Texas, for his work and advocacy in renewable energy legislation in Texas; and Beverly Wright, head of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, New Orleans, for her work on behalf of poor and minority communities, particularly African-American residents of New Orleans displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Contact: (804) 788-1414,,

Family Strengthening Awards

For: People and programs working to improve the prospects of children and families living in “tough neighborhoods.”

By: Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Winners: Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain, Boise, Idaho; Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley, Johnstown, Penn.; Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, Muskegon, Mich.; Clues – Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio, Minneapolis; The Resurrection Project, Chicago; Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, San Francisco; Volunteers of America of Kentucky, Louisville; Volunteers of America-Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans, New Orleans.


MacArthur Fellows

For: Individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary talent and dedication to their professions in such fields as the arts and science.

By: MacArthur Foundation.

Winners Include: Edwidge Danticat, author and former writer for New Youth Connections, a teen publication by Youth Communication in New York. Danticat, who began writing for the publication at age 14, went on to write several novels. Her first, Breath, Eyes, Memory …, was a New York Times bestseller. Danticat’s latest essay, on immigration, will appear in American Me, a Youth Communication anthology scheduled for publication in January.

Contact: (312) 726-8000,