ECHO Award Winners - 2005

Maria Aristizabal. One valuable trait in a social-capital builder is leadership, and especially civic leadership. Maria demonstrates broad civic leadership through her involvement with YMCA's Community Outreach Services where she is Program Director. Maria has gone above and beyond her duties at the YMCA to see that the lives of Hispanic children and families are enriched by opportunities such as the Hispanic Achievers Program, a program that she helped create. You can find Maria involved in our community in many ways, such as being a member of the ECHO Council. Maria works diligently so that her connectedness benefits our community. Maria was nominated by Judith Davis.

Jan Detter. It has been shown that being involved in even one organization, association, or group can lengthen your life expectancy. Jan Detter will live a long life based upon the associational involvement she has committed herself to. Her involvement as a volunteer with schools, local universities, and various nonprofits not only has personal benefits, but has benefited the health of the community as well. Jan originated Habitat for Humanity's BirdFest, has served on Habitat's board, and volunteers at Habitat's ReStore. As an artist, Jan works to infuse every aspect of her profession with social capital-building characteristics. As a member of the ECHO Council, Jan uses her civic leadership skills to co-lead the Volunteerism task group. The tapestry of connections and bonds she weaves on a daily basis inspires others to get involved and contribute to the community through their own unique talents, as Jan has. Jan was nominated by Leslie Hill.

Mary Dickinson. Our community can especially benefit from activities that increase our interracial trust, a dimension of social capital in which we are lacking. Mary Dickinson's efforts to build social capital have focused on building interracial trust and diversity of friendship in the Crossing 52 initiative. Through Crossing 52, Mary has helped organize community dinners that bring diverse participants to the table and involve youth in various contests to spark their thinking about racial and cultural issues in the community. Crossing 52's Supper Groups are now being modeled by the ECHO Council's Conversation Groups. In addition to her work with Crossing 52, Mary is also committed to helping the immigrant population navigate local systems and resources. Mary is a volunteer translator at the Community Care Clinic and teaches part-time as an English as a Second Language instructor at Forsyth Tech. Mary was nominated by Catherine Huber.

T. Sharee Fowler. Sharee has demonstrated her dedication to the community through three important social capital dimensions: civic leadership, associational involvement, and active politics. Her participation with groups such as C.H.A.N.G.E. and Green Street United Methodist Church has been valuable because these groups work to build bridges in the community. Through her employment with Family Services, Sharee coordinates the Domestic Violence Community Council and she has used her job-related expertise as a volunteer for the United Way on one of their Impact Councils. Sharee has also given volunteer time to the YWCA's Stop Racism Youth Council and to the North Winston CDC. Her efforts have touched numerous groups and she is a true asset to our community. Sharee was nominated by Alison Snow-Jones.

Sisters Undivided - The Next Level. This diverse group of women reflects the importance of informal socializing, diversity of friendships, and social and interracial trust. A continuation of the YWCA's Sisters Undivided program, this group of nine women socialize and share many activities together, including holiday celebrations and even one member's wedding, resulting in a collection of rich friendships and long-lasting bonds. Their diversity in age, race, and profession has demonstrated how differences can enrich our lives rather than being barriers. Social capital is built during their monthly dinners and outings. The Next Level group is a true example of both bonding social capital among women and bridging social capital across their many differences. The model will hopefully influence others in the community to be open to such diverse relationships.


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