Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism are proud to announce the recipients of the 2011 Mayor’s One City Community Service Awards. The awards are intended to recognize, reward and encourage activities that have a significant impact on meeting community needs in the District of Columbia.
“I congratulate this year’s award winners for their outstanding commitment to the District of Columbia,” Mayor Gray said. “These individuals stand as testaments to civic responsibility and service, and their tremendous contributions to our community do not go unrecognized.”
The annual award is open to District residents who have clearly demonstrated an outstanding commitment to service and volunteerism. The 2011 award categories included: Community Service, National Service, Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety, Education, Youth, and HIV/AIDS Advocacy.
“The 2011 Mayor’s One City Community Service Award recipients exemplify Mayor Gray’s vision for One City,” said Patricia Evans, Serve DC Executive Director. “Their commitment to service and community are an inspiration for all of us and Serve DC is honored to recognize these six individuals.”
Award recipients were honored Thursday, December 1, at a small ceremony featuring remarks by Mayor Gray. The event was hosted by Danny Harris of the People’s District, a blog dedicated to telling the stories of District residents, and presenters included Kenneth Ellerbe, DC Fire & Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Chief; Stephen Glaude, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs; John Gomperts, AmeriCorps State and National Director; Cedric Jennings, Director of the DC Youth Advisory Council; and Christopher Murphy, Executive Office of the Mayor Chief of Staff.
The 2011 Mayor’s One City Community Service Award recipients are:
Community Service Award: Jeannette Mobley
For the past 18 years, Jeanette Mobley has served as a volunteer for the DC Children’s Trust Fund Board, whose mission is to foster the well-being of District children and families by leading the way toward the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Ms. Mobley has also served for the past 10 years as a mentor for local high school students and returning citizens released from the prison system.
National Service Award: Evan Waldt
Evan Waldt began his commitment to service in the District with a two-year stint as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Washington, DC There, he served as a Team Sponsor Liaison for the City Heroes leadership development program, which guides District middle and high school students in understanding and addressing community challenges. While with City Year, Mr. Waldt received the “Long Walk” Award for serving more than 2,000 hours – the most of any corps member. Mr. Waldt is now the Teen Outreach Program Community Service Manager for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, an organization dedicated to meeting the urgent needs of at-risk District youth and their families, where he coordinates community-service opportunities at Ballou Senior High School.
Education Service Award: Michelle Smith
For the past six years, Michelle Smith has served a volunteer mentor with Higher Achievement, a rigorous after-school and summer academic program dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. Ms. Smith is also the founder of “Washington’s Biggest Givers,” a social volunteer group that supports community-based organizations in the District.
Youth Volunteer Service Award: Yalemwork Teferra
Yalemwork Teferra is a seventh-grade student at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, where she founded the “Animal Lover’s Club,” a student group dedicated to raising awareness about animal cruelty, extinction and the responsibilities of pet ownership.
Emergency Preparedness & Public Safety Award: Judith Sutter
Dr. Judith Sutter is an active volunteer and instructor for the District’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a volunteer program that trains citizens to be better prepared to respond to emergencies in their communities. Dr. Sutter has taught psychological first aid to CERT volunteers, and she is also a member of the DC Medical Reserve Corps, which coordinates volunteer health professionals during large-scale emergencies to assist emergency response teams, provide care to victims, and remove other burdens that inhibit the effectiveness of physicians and nurses in a major crisis. Dr. Sutter recently became a founding member of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly’s newly formed Emergency Preparedness Task Force.
HIV/AIDS Advocacy: Ron Swanda
Ron Swanda is a passionate advocate for one of the HIV/AIDS community’s most-overlooked populations – seniors. Mr. Swanda is a volunteer member of several Department of Health HIV prevention and care advisory committees and has worked closely with the Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS and other organizations to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS among District seniors. In 2010, Mr. Swanda helped organize a day-long workshop on HIV/AIDS and aging and in July, Mr. Swanda was recognized by IONA Senior Services his volunteer activism. Mr. Swanda currently serves on the DC Commission on Aging, the AARP DC advocacy team and is an AARP ambassador.