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Unity in Community Award Winner History

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2015 Community Unity Award - Sam Seyfi

Sam has been contributing to community for over 10 years and continues to serve.  He is a member of the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee and is president of the Longmont Sister Cities Board.  He also served on the board of Longmont United Hospital.  Sam is dedicated to multiculturalism which is why you will often see him helping at cultural events such as Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, and Dr. King.  It is because of people like Sam that Longmont is a caring and inclusive community.

2014 Community Unity Award - Carrie Adams & Tracey Jones

Carrie Adams serves as the Silver Creek leadership Academy Coordinator, she mobilized students to help feed volunteers during the flood and help people that were flood impacted.  Daily she is improving our community by creating connections between students and the community.  She does this by getting students engaged in cultural events like Chinese New Year Celebration and Martin L. King Jr. recognition.  She helps students connect and engage with local businesses, civically and culturally.

Tracey Jones is a leader and volunteer within the Circles Campaign designed to eliminate poverty one family at a time, one community at a time.  Tracey has been a driving force encouraging and helping participants within this program.  She is a lead volunteer with the poverty simulations that educate the community past the stereotypes of poverty.  During the flood she cooked for her neighbors that were flood impacted and also created a community garden in her yard to help people in poverty have access to grow organic food.  She is a board member for Community Action Program.  in addition to all her volunteer work she is also a CNA with Hospice providing care and dignity for those in their final stages of life.

2013 Community Unity Award - Rita Liu:
Rita Liu has a deep passion and is extremely dedicated to helping Longmont become a caring and inclusive community. She has been a leader and chair on the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee and founded the Asian-Pacific Association of Longmont. Rita created the Lunar New Year Celebration one of the biggest Asian celebrations which brings in hundreds of participants. Over the last three years, students at Silver Creek High School have had the opportunity to partner, learn about Asian culture, and help produce the event. Rita has the ability to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to come together and engage in their community. She is a bridge builder connecting people and helping them engage in the Longmont community.

2012 Community Award - Tony Shockency:
Tony Shockency's passion and optimism drives his effort for inclusion and to strive to build bridges among diverse people and organizations. He has taken the lead to ensure that the doors of the YMCA are open to all, especially the under-served communities. Tony has sought out partnerships to build bridges and collaborate to work on disparity in the areas of health and education.

2011 Community Award - Norma Fuentes:
Norma Funtes has worked for Intercambio Uniting Communities in the Longmont Office for over three years. During her time with Intercambio, Norma has created new partnerships with several Longmont schools (Central, Spangler, Skyline and Rocky Mountain), faith communities, and nonprofit organizations in order to expand locations that offer English classes. She has led cultural trainings and “Living in the US” workshops for hundreds of immigrants and US born Americans. She helped start computer classes in Spanish at the Intercambio Longmont Office, and over 40 people have learned basic computer literacy skills. Norma is an integral part of “Parents Involved in Education” and tirelessly promotes their educational workshops. Norma is an incredible leader and connector in the Longmont community. She has the ability to bring together hundreds of diverse people for trainings, classes and events. People respect Norma for her strong work ethic and passion for education and intercultural harmony. Her friendly smile and welcoming attitude makes everyone feel at home within the Intercambio organization and the Longmont community. Longmont is so fortunate that Norma Fuentes is an involved member of our community.

2010 Community Award - Perla Delgado:
Perla's dedication towards building a community that is inclusive and equitable is evident in her professional and personal life. She has served tirelessly the Longmont community; she had served on the Multicultural Action Steering Committee and Education Taskforce. Lead the development of leadership training class named PERL, (People Engaged in Raising Leaders). She works closely with St. Vrain Valley School and Latino parents, supporting their rights and responsibilities. Created SASSE which was a group of young Latino’s working to inform and empower other Latino to go to college. In collaboration with St. Vrain Valley School District and Front Range Community College created college fair, parent information session and other opportunities to find out what resources and options are available for high education. Perla is respected in both the majority community and the communities of color. She knows from personal experience the importance of feeling welcomed, valued and appreciated for what you have to offer. Perla believes it is important to give back to the community.

2009 Community Award - Bob Norris:
Bob has worked tirelessly on inclusion and immigration issues at the national, regional and local levels. He is a member of the El Comité Board of Directors, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, St. Vrain Latino Coalition, Hispanic Education Foundation, as well as many other non-profit and advisory boards and committees. He has been active in voter registration and has personally volunteered many hours staffing those booths himself. He has been a vocal advocate for the Dream Act and Tuition Equity legislation, and has been instrumental in organizing grass root efforts and voices in contacting our state and national legislators in support of these pieces of legislation. Bob volunteers at citizen workshops sponsored by El Comité to help immigrants complete their applications for citizenship. He has also been a strong advocate for more inclusive participation on local boards and commissions and has worked with local officials and state legislators to help bring about change.

2008 Community Unity Award - Marta Moreno & Louie Lopez:
Marta Moreno is the Executive Director of El Comité de Longmont. She not only dedicates her time to the Longmont community through her work with El Comité, she also volunteers her time for many other community organizations and causes. Marta works with people from all parts of the world and works tirelessly toward reaching her vision that all people in the Longmont community live together in harmony, without racism or prejudice, and that everyone is treated with equality and not judged by their skin color. Marta will make the time to help anyone out whether it is spiritually, helping to access resources, or just engaging in a heartfelt, one-on-one talk. Marta has received many regional and county-wide awards and recognition for her leadership and contributions.

Louie Lopez has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping youth overcome barriers and challenges and learn new skills, so that they can be successful in their lives. At the same time, he works to build the community’s capacity in connecting with youth, families and each other. For the past ten years, Louie has been working with youth at the Longmont Youth Center—in the afterschool program and most recently with the gang prevention and intervention program. Louie always gives selflessly of his time and talents for the community—volunteering for youth activities and going above and beyond in his work everyday to help create positive connections for youth at home, within their neighborhoods, schools and the community so that they will receive support and recognition from positive influences in their lives. He is passionate about making sure that our neighborhoods and community embrace and respect people from all different cultures, so that everyone feels that they belong and have pride. Not long ago, the City of Longmont received an All-America City award. The judges commented that one of Longmont’s strengths was its work with youth and that the community authentically valued their voice and participation. That is a clear reflection of Louie’s efforts every day to make a difference in the lives of youth in the Longmont community.

2007 Community Unity Award - Mary Vigil:
Mary has been contributing her incredible talent, energy, enthusiasm, collaboration, leadership and compassion to the Longmont community all her life. For the past 17 years, Mary has worked for Alternatives for Youth and is currently the program director of Celebrando la Familia. In her role, she designs, manages, and facilitates homework clubs in different schools, summer youth programs, the Folklorico Dance Troupe, parent meetings and numerous community partnerships. As part of the homework clubs, she works closely with school principals, teachers and parents. She brings so much support to children and their parents—helps them understand how the school system works, how to participate in their child’s school, how to talk with teachers about their children and how to get involved. Besides being the backbone of Alternatives for Youth, Mary is very involved in the Longmont community—helping to organize the Cinco de Mayo, Diez y seis de Septiembre and Dia de los Muertos events

2006 Community Unity Award - Ed Green:
Ed served the Longmont community in many ways. His association with the Longmont Sister Cities Association and community events like Cinco de Mayo demonstrated his strong belief in the youth and diversity of the Longmont community. He viewed these efforts as opportunities to bring individuals from all segments of the community together in a positive, safe environment to foster cultural understanding. He was a strong advocate for the Sister Cities student exchange program, believing that if the youth of our community had the opportunity to meet youth from Mexico and Japan this, too, would lead to cultural understanding. When Ed heard about budget problems that Ciudad Guzman was having and that they were unable to send students to Longmont for a cultural exchange, Ed paid for the students’ airfare, using life insurance money he had recently received when his wife, Christiane, succumbed to cancer. Cancer also cut Ed’s life short in 2006, but those who were touched by his kindness established the “Ed Green Scholarship” so that the Longmont community can carry forward Ed’s acts of generosity to make sure that other students who wish to visit Longmont through the Sister Cities Program will be able to do so.

2005 Community Unity Award - Marietta Gonzales:
Marietta truly values, honors and embraces our community’s diversity. Marietta believes that a strong community is built through strong education and planning. To foster these beliefs she volunteers her time to the Longmont Multicultural Plan effort where she serves as Co-Chair of the Education Task Force and a member of the Steering Committee. Marietta is a volunteer teacher for Intercambio de Comunidades teaching English as a second language. She also serves as a mentor to students at Skyline High School. Marietta is a member of the Longmont Sister Cities Association. For many years, Marietta has coordinated the host family arrangements for the student exchanges among Longmont’s two Sister Cities. This requires a great deal of time and planning to ensure that each student and chaperone is matched to a host family for a 10-day visit. Marietta recently served on the Coordinating Team for Longmont’s strategic planning process—Focus on Longmont. She was instrumental in recruiting community members to participate in this unique planning process that involves the Longmont community to focus on its strengths for a strong and prosperous future. She also served on the committee that planned and coordinated the Education Summit, which brought together over 600 people to work on how we make sure that all members of our community have access to lifelong educational opportunities that can help them be successful in life. Marietta knows no strangers. She is comfortable speaking to the young and the elderly; she listens well and has a gift of making each person feel that they are respected and of value to the community. She is fluent in Spanish and English and is often called upon to serve as a translator or to facilitate multicultural understanding within our community. She approaches each task and assignment with enthusiasm and with a wonderful sense of humor. She is respected by all members of the community who have had the opportunity to work with her.

2004 Community Unity Award- Emma Pena McCleave:
Emma exemplifies unselfishness and dedication to the whole community because she has always strived to share her level of success with the whole community. She is enthusiastic and visionary teacher, social worker, dancing coach, community organizer, fund raiser, mentor and leaders. She promotes inclusion and participation in everything she touches. She has trained and mentors elementary and middle school students in folklore dances. The dedication to youth is evident in her work with the Genesis program, assisting pregnant teens. She also raises funds and mentors for the Boulder County Latina Women’s Fund which supports pre-college Latinas by preparing them to attend college. She has worked for 8 years with the Longmont Sister Cities Exchange program. She has served on the board of El Comité for many years. Emma was a founding member of several associations most notably the Hispanic Alumni Association of CU.

2003 Community Unity Award - Woody Palasek:
Woody served as co-chair of the Latino Community Steering Strategic Plan 2003-2007. In 2003, the Longmont City Council established the Community Unity Award in memory of “Woody” Palasek who served as the first Co-Chair of Longmont’s Multicultural Strategic Plan steering committee. In his work, he exemplified: dedication to the Longmont community; optimism in the ability to achieve an inclusive/diverse community; enthusiasm; a sense of humor; vision; and generosity of spirit and heart. Woody died unexpectedly in 2003 and, in his memory; the Longmont City Council presents an annual “Community Unity Award” to community leaders who are working to ensure that Longmont is a caring, inclusive community that embraces, respects and celebrates our diversity.


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