Nancy Dworkin Outstanding Service to Youth Award Winners

Organizers from Asian American LEAD received the 2014 Nancy Dworkin Oustanding Service to Youth Award in the Organization category. | Courtesy Asian American LEAD

Photo Courtesy Asian American LEAD

The Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth recently announced the winners of the 2014 Nancy Dworkin Outstanding Service to Youth Awards. The awards are given annually to organizations and individuals whose dedication, vision and service to children and youth have made a difference in the lives of others.

  • The Bethesda-based Hispanic Business Foundation of Maryland received the Business Award for its work engaging disadvantaged high school students ages 16 to 21 in education and mentored job experiences through its Partnership Youth Initiative and Add Us In project.
  • Bethesda resident Shirley Brandman will receive the Child Advocate Award for her long-term commitment to Montgomery County children and youth.  Through her tenure on the Board of Education, membership on the Commission on Children and Youth, service to children as vice-president for educational issues at Montgomery County’s Council of PTA’s and her work as an advocate for children with special needs, Brandman has been dedicated to equity and opportunity for all children.
  • Silver Spring-based Asian American LEAD will receive the Organization Award for addressing the social, cultural and academic needs of low-income and underserved Asian American youth through its Maryland Middle School Program, Maryland High School Program and Mentoring Program.
  • The Gandhi Brigade, based in Silver Spring, will be honored in the Organization category for providing young people with opportunities to use media arts as a developmental pathway for personal and community growth.
  • Laurel resident Heather L. Gordon will be honored in the Service Provider category for her work as a case manager for Youth in Transition and for her unyielding efforts to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of dually diagnosed youth.
  • Bethesda resident Judy Phillips will be honored with the Volunteer Award for her dedication and commitment to abused and neglected children.
  • Potomac resident Bobbi Sherman will receive the Youth Award for her selfless and extensive service to abused and neglected children, youth with disabilities and critically ill children.  She will also receive a $250 scholarship from the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County.

The recipients were honored on Monday, May 12 at a ceremony at the Adventure Theatre MTC in Glen Echo.  Jane de Winter, chair of the Commission on Children and Youth, hosted the celebration with the Commission’s youth members presenting the awards. Students from the Adventure Theatre MTC ensembles performed.  The event was co-sponsored by Adventure Theatre MTC, the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County and the Gazette.

Nancy Dworkin Outstanding Service to Youth Awards:

The award is named in honor of Nancy Dworkin, past chair of the Commission on Children and Youth, who died in 1987.  Dworkin was the director of the Center for Unique Learners, a Rockville school for children with learning disabilities.  Her upbeat teaching philosophy focused on “teaching to strength” and encouraging all students to develop skills and reach their own potential.  This philosophy echoes the purpose of the awards program to encourage everyone to reach their potential of service to others.

The Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth:

The Commission promotes the well-being of the community’s children, youth and families so that all young people may realize their full potential and become productive adults.  The 27-person Commission includes seven voting youth members.  The Commission identifies the needs of young people and their families, and the groups and agencies that serve them; and informs and advises the County Executive, County Council, Department of Health and Human Services, Board of Education and the community at large.  The Commission also recommends policies, programs, funding and legislative priorities and advocates for all of Montgomery County’s young people by affirming their needs, aspirations and achievements.

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