Repeat recipients in gold. View previous years' recipients.
Celebrating Community - John Flowers
A grassroots organization that sponsors community celebrations on Poughkeepsie’s north side, Celebrating Community annually produces five remarkably successful events, including a Father’s Day Parade and an Old Fashioned Easter Egg Hunt, each of which attracts over 3,000 people. All the events promote community pride and voter education.
Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of Dutchess County
The center has been dedicated to the reduction of child maltreatment since 1973. It annually serves more than 15,000 abused and at-risk children, and provides support and education services to more than 3,000 adults. The center is also the only agency in Dutchess County that provides sexual-abuse prevention training.
Children’s Media Project
This pioneering downtown Poughkeepsie agency provides young people access to the skills and tools of media production, teaches them how to critically view media, and offers related job opportunities. CMP’s programs encourage youth to not only explore the world around them, but to also be active participants. For example, in its DROP-TV program youth share in the selection, production, and distribution of an issue oriented thirteen-episode series for middle schoolers.
Dutchess County SPCA
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescues, shelters, and secures permanent homes for adoptable companion animals, advocates for the highest standards of animal care, and enforces animal cruelty laws throughout Dutchess County. It also runs a special program to care for the companion animals of domestic violence victims staying at emergency shelters.
The Lunch Box program serves up to 300 hot meals a day, and that’s just one of many ways that Dutchess Outreach addresses hunger throughout the county. The agency also provides emergency food, medicine, and clothing to families, and it advocates for people in poverty.
GLSEN Hudson Valley
Through information, education, and advocacy the all-vounteer Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. This is particularly important in light of the vulnerability of young gay people to bullying and their high rate of suicide.
Grace Smith House
The main Dutchess County shelter for victims of domestic violence provides hope for battered women and their children, and training for their independence. Grace Smith House has also provided model local leadership in outreach to the Latino community.
Instructors at this inner-city dance and martial arts center take a special interest in a youth’s academic potential. “Their creative and physical abilities are nurtured as we partner with parents to build strong, confident youth who are prepared to become leaders in this community,” explains M*POWER’s philosophy statement. Their elite teen dancers perform jazz, Afro-Brazilian, and hip-hop at the very highest level, and express the community spirit of hope and optimism.
Poughkeepsie Farm Project
Works toward a just and sustainable food system in the Mid-Hudson Valley by operating a member-supported farm, providing education about food and farming, and improving access to healthy locally-grown food. Among its many activities, the Food Share program focuses on fresh food access issues in the parts of the City of Poughkeepsie where there are no supermarkets, poverty is concentrated with rates twice the national level, and many residents don't own a vehicle.
R.E.A.L. Skills Network
Grassroots initiative based at Poughkeepsie’s Family Partnership Center, which aims to build community and develop personal responsibility among inner-city youth. R.E.A.L. Skills was founded in 2008 to fill the need for after-school and summer programs for K-12 students at risk, and its projects now include an innovative after-school mentoring program for high school and elementary students, a social justice hip-hop theater troupe, and the Speech Masters Youth Leadership Club.
Rural and Migrant Ministry
Long-time advocates for the working and living conditions of farm workers. Among its accomplishments RMM led a statewide coalition that won migrant farm workers the right to have clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in the fields, as well as the pay protection of the state minimum wage. RMM also runs a variety of youth leadership development programs, and a summer camp for the children of migrant workers.